2ND BATTALION 94TH ARTILLERY
Agent Orange - Review of Ranch Hand Congressional Transcripts - 2000
In March of 2000, Congress held a subcommittee review of just what is going on in the Agent Orange world of study by the Air Force and a few other studies; and the performance of the VA in dealing with these toxin issues, associations to toxin medical issues and compensations for Veterans, and Veterans widows, and Veterans children.
In my opinion after reviewing this “so-called review” and after studying the real facts for two years, this was just another government travesty and shows just how conspiratorial the Air Force management is that operates under the GAO; and the VA which operates under the non-caring eye of the President(s) of the United States.
Read and decide for yourself.
These are excerpts and my comments from the above congressional review
Dated: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 2000.
This is simply because the White House does not want the truth known. So why would they want independent help? Independent scientists have stated all along for the past thirty years the government was covering up all these issues and have supplied scientific data contrary to the VA and nothing was done. Having anything independent involved with the government studies only exposes more lies and misconstrued data findings by the VA and the White House. Therefore, they want no help from outside sources, much less a bunch of nosey congressmen asking real questions.
I would suggest that the congressman was totally correct and need only review the findings in the VA classified report by Special Assistant Admiral E.R. Zumwalt, Jr. dated May 5, 1990. This report shows that the 1984, the 1987, and the 1990 Air Force Ranch Hand study was tampered with, the protocols were tampered with; the original draft was changed to delete important medical facts (including birth defects which showed a 50% increase), White House and management interference, etc. That the Air Force scientists admitted that White House and Air Force management were both involved with scientific decisions that was tottaly aginst the established protocol for the study. Alternatively, he should check with Senator Tom Daschle on the fraudulent reporting of this study as conclude by the Senator and so stated these facts. To characterize the report as Congressman Christopher Shays did, regarding possible government corruption above; is an understatement to say the least.
I would suggest to the congressman the White House and probably the majority of the senate and the majority of the house, and the White House disagree with you on your “Vision of Justice for the Veterans.” Four decades have come and gone and we still have no justice. Only government conspiracies, cover-ups, denials, VA corruption, congressional corruption, and more and more stalling that follow our legacy.
While your statement, regarding no matter how long it takes is admirable. Veterans and veteran’s widows need help now from VA and White House corruption; not however long it takes. The previous history of mass Veterans issues shows a government trend to let Veterans die off as the government stalls doing anything. Then when they are few left; apologize for the confusion in the government and how sorry you are. Then dole a few scraps of money to those left and then say now we are even.
I think it is obvious with the White House interventions and Air Force management interference in these studies while documenting some medical truths have been so manipulated that they are now meaningless, as the White House wanted to begin with, while more Veterans die off as planned by the government officials.
Just as the book, “Waiting for the Army to Die,” suggests. (The tragedy of Agent Orange by Fred A. Wilcox.) More appropriate would have been, “Waiting for all Vietnam Veterans to Die”, written by the US Government and its elected “honorable” officials.
This was concluded long ago Congressman Sanders by many studies. One example is the VA classified report referenced above that also indicates dioxin effects similar to the thalidomide drug. Of course, this reference is under patterns of secrecy at the VA; imagine that! Anyone familiar with the thalidomide situation knows this was just a little more than spina bifida.
Read the book, soon to be released congressman!
Congressman, this not just a VA problem but a White House problem. The White house did not want Veterans to know anything for almost 20 years after the fact when they finally announced Hodgkin’s diseases in 1989. While the White House directed the VA and the EPA propaganda stalled and manipulated studies; and ignored previous scientific data. All in the name of the Presidents and the White House while veterans died off. To say it is a poor effort is an understatement. Nonexistent is how it should be characterized.
Then, not only do they not tell the Veterans there is a problem with developing immune system problems, which has been known for years and confirmed by our own EPA in 92, 94, and 96, that can lead to many disabling autoimmune diseases that can then lead to cancers. They do not tell the Veterans in mass media. As any flu epidemic is discussed in the country on nation wide media. Not only do they not tell the Veterans all the issues that they know about that are real but then limit those to a few cancers here and there. If they told the Veterans anything, as you suggest, that would be an admission to the guilt and cover-ups for almost four decades.
The tragedy of these cover-ups has been the VA and the White House should have told the Veterans that they need to have two blood tests every year to check the health of their immune system. To check for microbiological changes in the blood plasma could detect an early sign of a disabling immune system problem that may or may not be developing in to an end stage cancerous state from long-term damages. Alternatively, they did not tell the female offspring of our Vietnam Fathers that they should be checked for the 13th chromosome (Trisomy 13) passed on by their damaged fathers. On the other hand, even both male and female offspring should be checked for these developing immune system problems and cancers.
Those Veterans, their children, and even their grandchildren should now be looked at by doctors as “toxin exposure victim patients”. And the government should have admitted that fact.
Even in this meeting regarding Hodgkin’s diseases, it was stated they were only expecting 495 or so which ended up in over three times that many. Now when the infamous Secretary of the VA announced this issue of associations and compensations, he proudly announced they were going to spend 16.9 million on this one issue. Big deal - after stalling for 22 years on this one issue while Veterans died. Again, I ask the congress this question to be asked to the VA and all Veterans should ask this same question of their elected officials.
If the original estimated amount of Veterans had been the three times that amount. Would the NAS/IOM still be saying we do not know how to apply it to the Veterans?
If the original estimated amount of money to be expended were 4 times or 8 times the 16.9 million dollars. Would the NAS/IOM still be saying we do not know how to apply it to the Veterans?
Since the money value and now I find the actual estimated amount of Veterans was calculated before hand; is this also a factor in finding and stating associations? Seems to me that since the data was there, it is also a factor in the VA secretary’s corrupt and biased decisions. Gee, let’s not associate that one. Too many Veterans have that medical issue and it will cost too much! Just invoke the law we had written up that says we can deny it.
How many died or had male children that were damaged and stillborn? How many Veterans died at the hands of the VACEH, the VA, and the White House? How many more must die or become disabled before the congress does what it is supposed to do and goes after the truth? Is the subject so political now that no one will touch it for fear of exposing the truth and possible “self-involvement” after four decades of a total government conspiracy?
How many miscarriages must a segment of society demonstrate to the VA and the White House that there is and was a connection all along? When other federal agencies reported this “exact same condition” and medical problem that forced them to stop using this toxin swill in 1968. Yet, Veteran were still sprayed. How many must be presented?
In addition, there is no program that the government uses to contact those Veterans widows and/or children of Veterans that have passed away. Passed away, while the White House and the VA were playing at associations and blocking the truth identifying any medical issues. Stalling for 22 years and then deciding every two years which disease will they include of the 28 medical issues already identified if it does not cost too much.
Veterans families who had no clue that their Veterans husband or fathers services in combat caused their death, as they believed in this government and that our government would not forsake them. Surely if they were wounded in combat by our government they would let the Veteran know. Little did they know, as I did not, just how corrupt our government can be and are allowed to be with regards to the Veterans.
A Veteran dies in 1979 from one of the cancers finally admitted to in 1992 yet his family does not even know this fact, that for all intensive purposes the Veteran was mortally wounded by his own government. Remember, that in 1979 the entire government in mass was saying there was no harm in dioxin or any of the other toxins. No one in the government really cares that no notice is given. In fact, I would say it is deliberate on the part of the White House and the VA to save money to pander elsewhere to buy votes.
We all know the government has been robbing the Veterans from the Veterans Disability Tax for over 130 years. I would submit this is no different. The government is allowed to steal from these families with no effort on their part, even though the government caused the issue. Families that their Veteran husband and/or father died from mortal wounds received in combat and yet they to this day have no idea this government has concealed that fact or that no effort was put out in warning of this fact. If this were a private corporation issue, criminal charges would be filed and someone would go to jail.
We have a flu epidemic and the national media gets involved on a daily basis. Yet, for the Veterans and the Veterans family that needs notification there is nothing, not even a peep.
The congressman is correct and the other nations that served along side of America’s Veterans have the same medical issues. Yet, the cover-ups go on.
Once again, I point out that the VA stalling and propaganda campaigns, the EPA and chemical company campaigns enabled by the White House in the mid 80’s, cover-ups and modification of data, the interference the CDC studies, the VACEH, HR 101-672 are all part of this issue of White House cover-ups while more and more Veterans pay the ultimate sacrifice for serving our country. For the congressman to now say this report was criticized is a meaningless. This whole thing should have been plastered all over the media. Instead, it was talked about in whispers and little criticisms offered here and there. The house and the senate did very little then and even less now to expose this what should have been deemed a National Disaster and government cover-up.
I point out to the congressman and all our elected officials. The Ranch Hand study was a ruse to begin with. The whole government premise that these men would be most exposed and therefore correlations could be made to others was also a ruse. Even in your own review, the Ranch Hand owners denounce that the Ranch Hand was even set up to draw any correlations and pronounce anything or draw any conclusions other than they have 1300 sick Air Force personnel. That is because the data collected is too damaging to associate to other veterans. This was only sold because they had the names of some of those that actually handled the toxins. For anyone to say that these men were the most exposed, as you indicate yourself, is totally absurd.
While these men had exposures, they were not the same types of exposures or even rate of exposures that the men in the field had. I suggest you look at Chapter 15 for the spray areas along the DMZ. I studied the known spray areas, as the VA classified reports indicate many “Ranch Hand operations” were never documented. The amounts sprayed on these overlapping firebases were incredible. You are correct in your assumptions that these Veterans had different types of exposures. While the Ranch Handers had intermittent, contact and their water supplies may or may not have been contaminated or contaminated at a lesser rate. The men that served along the DMZ in the hills and valleys when they arrived they lived in this toxin nightmare their entire tour of duty. They cooked in it, bathed in it, and drank water contaminated with all *three main toxins, and they were sprayed with it. Any ingestion scenario you can come up with these men experienced it.
While the government genesis has been on Dioxin (Agent Orange) there were plenty of spray missions with just Agent White and Agent Blue. Hundreds of thousands of gallons dumped around and on me, my guys, and the Marines along the DMZ.
In fact, in 1969, our less than honorable State Department got involved and a representative was sent over. Their report said Agent Orange (dioxin) was OK but Agent Blue was a problem. That is the one and only time I can find Agent Blue as causations for anything. Although even in that there were allegations that even that report was modified after the report was submitted.
Is the form of justice Veterans get? Lie after lie after lie.
Lets review some of the stated facts on Agent White and Agent Blue.
· Agent Blue: the code name for cacodylic acid (dimethyl arsenic acid). Used between 1965 and 1970. Accounts do show spraying of; Carroll, Cam Lo, Rockpile, Dong Ha, Khe Sanh, and all along the DMZ.
Agent Blue produces a spectrum of acute toxic symptoms that includes gastrointestinal disorders, eye irritation and dermatitis. Studies in experimental systems have indicated that it has the potential for mutagenicity, clastogenicity (chromosome damages) and teratogenicity.
Carcinogenicity has not been tested adequately, but it should be noted that other inorganic arsenic compounds have been associated with liver, lung, skin and stomach cancers.
It is highly toxic by inhalation, ingestion and through skin contact. It may cause irreversible effects and death. It may act as a teratogen or carcinogen; or skin, eye and respiratory irritant.
· Garlic odor of breath and feces, metallic taste in mouth.
· Adverse GI effects predominate with vomiting, abdominal pain and rice-water or bloody diarrhea. GI effects may also include inflammation, vesicle formation and “eventual sloughing of the mucosa in the mouth, pharynx and esophagus.”
* “Eventual sloughing of the mucosa in the mouth, pharynx and esophagus.” Let’s be clear on this of what this result actually is: nasal/pharyngeal/esophageal cancers along with stomach and colon cancers. This was identified in 1989 and then conveniently covered up.
· Central nervous system effects are common: headache, dizziness, drowsiness and confusion.
· Symptoms may progress to include muscle weakness and spasms, hypothermia, lethargy, delirium, coma and convulsions.
· Renal injury is manifest as proteinuria, hematuria, glycosuria, oliguria, and casts in the urine and in severe poisoning cases, acute tubular necrosis.
· Cardiovascular effects include shock, cyanosis and cardiac arrhythmia.
· Elevated liver enzymes and jaundice may manifest liver damage.
· Injury to blood-forming tissues may cause anemia, leucopenia and thrombocytopenia.
Chronic exposure may lead to:
· *Muscle weakness, fatigue, anorexia, weight loss.
· Hyperpigmentation, hyperkeratosis.
· *Peripheral neuropathy, paresthesia, paresis and ataxia.
· *Inability to coordinate voluntary muscular movements.
· Subcutaneous edema in face, eyelids, and ankles.
· Stomatitis, white striations across the nails (Mees lines) and sometimes loss of nails or hair.
· *Liver toxicity as indicated by hepatomegaly, jaundice, and cirrhosis.
· *Renal toxicity leading to oliguria, proteinuria, and hematuria.
· EKG abnormalities and peripheral vascular disease.
· *Hematologic abnormalities.
Gee, like no Veterans have reported these and applied for compensations. Look at the bogus VA board of appeals and see how many have reported peripheral neuropathy, paresthesia, paresis and ataxia. Again, common sense and statistics mean nothing!
Agent White: the code name for a mixture of an approximate ratio of 4:1 of 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid; 239.7 kg/m3) and *Picloram (4-amino-3,5,6-trichloropicolinic acid; 64.7 kg/m3). Used between 1965 and 1971. Accounts do show spraying of; Carroll, Cam Lo, Rockpile, Dong Ha, Khe Sanh, and all along the DMZ.
Picloram is carcinogenic and our EPA suggests that in drinking water or any moist environment, which it seems to like, states the following medical issues:
· Acute exposure: EPA has found picloram to potentially cause the following health effects from acute exposures: damage to *central nervous system, weakness, diarrhea, weight loss.
*Yet, the government continually denies any involvement with the Veteran’s central nervous system (brain and spinal chord).
· Chronic exposure: Picloram has the potential to cause the following health effects from long-term exposures: *liver damage.
*Liver damage as a medical term sounds simplistic but this term “liver damage” can mean many things and can lead to many many debilitating autoimmune and fatal diseases, including cancers from the damaged immune system.
One of the Ranch Hand representatives made a causal statement that they were still selling 2,4-D in “weed be gone” product on the market. What that has to do with the swill we endured is beyond me. Tottaly ridiculous to bring up in that meeting as justification for anything. What the gentleman forgot to mention, as just a slight oversight, I am sure. “In 1985, Facts by EPA on Picloram, in order for DOW Chemical to gain re-registration of Picloram, it had to reduce the contamination to less then 200 parts per million of Hexachlorobenzene and less then 1 percent Nitrosamines. Dow has reduced Hexachlorobenzene and now has no Nitrosamines in Picloram. No telling how high it was with the swill they were using in Vietnam.”19
Hexachlorobenzene and Nitrosamines have their own set of acute and chronic exposure medical issues. Many of the same medical problems stated as dioxin issues.
Hexachlorobenzene, mentioned above, is stable in water and seeks out the aquifer system. If left in soil, it degrades to become Pentachlorphenol, which is also known to be dangerous through skin contact causing many medical issues.
Again, I am quite sure that was an oversight and not any stated rational as to why Agent White should not be considered in Veterans medial issues. If it was I think the above evidence will dispel this oversight.
Lets be truthful here, the 140 million dollar Ranch Hand study is not used for anything at this point except to track sick Air Force guys, according the owners of the Ranch Hand report under the GAO and has become a taxpayer paid for government boondoggle. It has been modified and corrupted so many times anyway.
The government does not want the fact known that even in 1987 the Ranch Handers by a ratio of 5 to 1 were sicker with cancers, degenerative neurological diseases, chronic debilitating fatigue, and other assorted autoimmune diseases. Forget degenerative neurological diseases, as the corrupt VA and Secretary of the VA will not even discuss that issue. Even though the EPA scientist and the OTA indicated and predicted that Vietnam Veterans, as they age, would develop these issues including Parkinson’s and MS. Including the incredibly high suicide rate and PTSD Veterans had and are experiencing. Yes, in some victims dioxin (Agent Orange) and picloram (Agent White) can inflict causations of a neurotoxin. Since it seeks out fat cells or a more lipid environment, once it crosses the blood barrier. This is normally the brain or spinal chord area.
Lets see the Ranch Handers are sicker with these medial issues than the study group by an 80% ratio. Just what in the heck does the White House or congress or the VA need to statistically prove that these issues are; Agent Orange, Agent White, or Agent Blue associated? I know according to the White House and the VA this 80% positive ratio is just a random occurrence or these fellows are all related some how and these medical issues are all inherited. Alternatively, they can just add words that the dose response or exposure index is not correct per medical issue, therefore there is “no association”. Even though the EPA now states, after the White House got out of their britches, there is no threshold to any certain medical issue and that even parts per trillion is a dioxin problem. Including statements that autoimmune diseases and disorders, and birth defects require much less thresholds.
Congressman, please do not be so naïve or pretend to be anyway. This answer is simple. The resources of the government has never been used to help the Vietnam Veterans. Their White House directed “march order” was directed at covering up this National Disaster and not finding any associations to the Veterans medical issue or their offspring issues and stalling as long as possible. In fact, one of their primary goals was to protect the chemical companies as much as the government could while, more Veterans died off.
The two reasons given in the White House memo directing all federal agencies not to find associations to Agent Orange were:
A. The cost of supporting the Veterans.
B. The cost that would be incurred by the chemical companies.
Why would you acknowledge the standards are different? When the congress has stated at least twice and a court has stated that the Veterans should get this mythical “Benefit of the Doubt”. If this were the case then I would submit the numbers ratio should be the exact opposite of what we have now. This is simply because the real courts to not give the claimant the benefit of the doubt and only judge on the merits of the evidence. Unfortunately, as you suggest; the evidence when dealing with the Veterans, is only what the VA says it is and not what it really is proven to be by independent medical studies and findings.
Below is list of questions that should have been asked to the VA representative there at your meeting. Especially, since you had the chief of environmental hazards from the VA present in your meeting. While I am sure she would have said, the President gave the power of Agent Orange associations to the VA secretary. These questions should have been asked and answers demanded from the VA secretary or the President himself. Of course, no different than the Ranch Hand studies you would have been denied these answers. Because the VA has no conclusive process that demonstrates nonbiased, benefit of the doubt, and just and fair decision processes. Only cash bonuses and promotions for Veterans denials and a trip to the totally biased anti-Veterans Court of Appeals, after they have stalled long enough or they are tired of looking at your claim.
What I did not see asked by our “concerned” congressmen and senators in this review in
March of 2000 was:
· How many Veterans have applied for Agent Orange compensations and were turned down? What were the five prevalent diseases or medical issues applied for that were not on the Agent Orange hit parade and how many of each category.
· What were the five most commonly used VA rationales for turning down the Veterans claims. Was the very fact that you can deny claims by the laws the VA created and established itself part of the equation and matrix, instead of the evidence presented?
· How many widows applied for Agent Orange compensations and were turned down?
· What were the five most commonly used VA rationales for turning down the widow’s claims. Was the very fact that you can deny claims by the laws the VA created and established itself part of the equation and matrix, instead of the evidence presented?
· Can you show in your decisions were the “two times congressionally mandated and one time court mandated” “benefit of the doubt” was incorporated into the VA decision matrix?
· Is there a standard VA decision matrix used by all VA employees that shows any and all evidence is considered and if so what is it? If not why not?
· Is there any weight applied in the decision to the evidence the Veteran and or his doctor submits. Does the VA then go after the doctor for more and more information alienating and punishing the Veteran’s doctor? Of what real value is a Veterans doctors opinion if the doctor goes against the wishes of the VA secretary and the president. What weights if any, is the Veteran’s doctors medical opinion.
· Does this decision matrix establish a 50% rule that considers this an award to the Veterans?
· Do you only consider those diseases and medical issues that have been established by the VA, and the President of the United States, as associated and all others are denied “as a matter of fact” because the VA wrote a law that says they can and then dealt with at an appeal or the VA courts? *
· Does the VA deal in cash bonuses and promotions for denial of the Veterans claims. If so, where is that calculated into your decision matrix?
· Is any punishment issued for those VA employees, for their own personal gains, deny claims, which after review should have been approved? If not why not?
· Is there indeed a total VA approval percentage of 4% limited by the VA and our President of the United States?
· At what percentage of certainty are you awarding claims based on an unknown toxicology issue?
· The bottom line questions should have been:
a. Why are our countries real toxicology experts, The EPA, not deciding these issues?
b. Is there now a double standard for civilian toxicology damages versus Veterans toxicology damages? That a certain amount of toxin will damage a civilian but the Veterans are immune for some scientific medical reason. It seems this is the case.
c. Does the VA have the opinion that our countries finest and independant toxicology experts do not have enough expertise as the hired, mostly biased, VA toxicology experts or those that are now contracted by the VA?
*As I have stated many times and I think I have proven in the book, it is obvious we as Veterans, cannot trust our government, including our president(s), to establish any medical issues or diseases of “inclusion” as it relates to Veterans mass issues. This includes:
· Nuclear testing
· LSD testing
· Agents Orange, White, and Blue
· Gulf War Syndrome issues
The main reasons none of these questions were asked by our caring congressmen and senators and then demand an answer is:
a. They really do not care about the Veterans.
b. They do not want to know the answers for fear of having to do something, which may include even chastising the President of the United Sates for even allowing this despicable behavior to continue. Party politics!!!!!!
I would think this would be available under the freedom of information act. Unfortunately, the VA does not seemed to answer any questions regarding any of these issues and do not seemed to be under this freedom of information act.
Again, I ask the president just where is this 50/50 tie that goes to the Veteran. I ask the congress just where is this mythical “benefit of the doubt”?
Once again, the congressman is right on and should have been followed up. As I point out in Chapter 15 for the men who lived in the toxin environment nightmares along the DMZ. From arrival to departure, they existed in the three prominent toxins used.
Mr. Chan is Director, Special Studies and Evaluations, National Security and International Affairs Division, General Accounting Office.
I would suggest that this statement is totally incorrect. Whether Mr. Chan is aware of what he is stating is fact or not, I would not know.
As the congressman pointed out common sense should have been used here. The Marines by the documented hospitalization records had more non-combat hospitalizations that correlate with the starting and stopping of major sprayings. The report also shows that this pointed out that those that stayed in the toxin environment instead of displacing from a relatively non-sprayed area to a spray area and then return were not as exposed as the Marine combat doctrine used, especially along the DMZ.
Regarding Army units that served in that same area attached to the Marines, this should have been an easy task to evaluate. Myself, I have gathered approximately 90% of the names of my outfit, which is about 3,500 names, by Battery, serving from 1966 to 1972. I know from the Battalion Operational Reports were our Batteries were displaced, when they displaced, when they returned to the headquarters base camp which was still in the toxin environment, in the middle of Indian Territory, as well as the places they displaced. Since I know which Battery the individuals where in and when they were in the Battery, I can locate each man to a specific area and time he was there. All of the places they were displacing to were also heavily sprayed. This is known by even the limited spray records the government has admitted. Not counting the millions of gallons that are unaccounted for in Ranch Hand missions that went unrecorded or helicopter, truck, and tank spraying that were also never recorded.
I got these reports from the government but Mr. Chan acts like this is; or was a tottaly impossible task.
In other words given the records you could tie down a small Marine Recon team location by the call sign used and the fire missions shot for them down to the grid square and time of day or night. Then by knowing who was in the team at the time, such as call sign “Viper”. You could then correlate down to an individual, the individual’s location within a grid square, what day of the year it was, and even the time of day or night. That is for small units such as recon teams. Company size or platoon size displacements or Batteries are even easier than that including knowing which sections or gun platoon were on which hill along the DMZ or what units were in what documented hill fight.
The whole issue is here, that no one for forty years really wanted to know.
We know the units that were up there, Marine and Army, and the same data could have been accumulated. If a lowly former enlisted E5 can find these correlations, while the entire United States Government has been stymied by this endeavor. Then I would suggest to the congressman, the entire United States Government does not want to know. The government spent their resources and all their efforts proving there were no issues, not what are the real issues or the truth.
Congressman Sanders there is nothing anecdotal about those statements. It is a known fact. Just because a corrupt government does not recognize it does not make it anecdotal. Not just with our American families but with our allies that fought along side of us. Check out Chapter 12 for known higher percentage of birth defects by our own National Birth Defects Registry. Seems the White House forgot to tell them not to record Vietnam fathered birth defects. At my first Battalion reunion, I was shocked at the number of miscarriages and stillborns. All of these fellows served along the DMZ. Of course, the VA and the White House would say it just a statistical anomaly.
It just amazes me that educated men such as yourself and all the others in the congress can stand by and let the VA and the White House override common sense and even the universal laws of probabilities and statistics.
Part of our Battalion goals and challenge is to find all of our fellows. In this process, we are discovering that many are dead and died in the 80’s and 90’s from cancers or autoimmune issues that destroyed their livers or kidneys. Many with nerve damage issues (neuropathy), chronic fatigue, joints wasting, and becoming disabled such as myself. The Marine units I am finding the same type scenario. Some with what is diagnosed as nerve damage issues only later to be diagnosed with MS or Parkinson’s. None of any of these symptoms or medical issues the VA says is associated, while the rest of the medical world disagrees.
Mr. Oppenheim is the Assistant Director, National Security, International Affairs Division, General Accounting Office.
Congressman Sanders you are missing nothing with that question. As the book indicates there never was a real government attempt at establishing any correlations. Only to find ways not to find correlations was the government’s command decision.
Dr. Ronald Trewyn , dean of graduate school and vice provost of research, Kansas State University, former member Ranch Hand Advisory Committee.
Mr. Trewyn concluded as I have concluded this whole thing is a scam by the VA and the NAS/IOM. A study that is done with no comparison group? DUH! What a waste of time and taxpayer money. A first year college student realizes without comparisons there is little value in any test or data gathering. Yet, their rational was, they were not directed to do such. They should all be fired for incompetence and corruptness.
In this area, Mr. Trewin is wrong. There are already enough studies by independent scientists and independent scientific groups as well as the EPA that have been totally ignored in this issue. Any contract let by the VA to the NIH or giving the VA the power to override any studies based on a law they created will have to be nullified if you expect any fairness and justice in any decisions. Their previous total bias precedes their reputation.
In fact, unless there was a set of qualified Veterans, as oversight, involved in this process the process is still totally subject to White House corruption and open-ended statements and qualifiers like the NAS/IOM uses now, and the total bias of the VA secretary. Thereby, still denying Veterans legitimate compensations for disabling and/or death. These Veterans would have to be independent and not appointed by our bought off by mother VA in 1988 National Veterans Organizations. They have become a government pawn.
I would suggest to the congressman that it only requires a 50/50 chance as propagandized by the VA, the Congress, and the White House. This has always been the standard of a 50/50 chance with out the so-called benefit of the doubt. Again a government ruse!
Dr Susan Mather is the head of the Environmental Hazards group at the totally anti-Veteran VA.
Unfortunately, the key words are here, that the congress gave the totally biased and White House directed Secretary of the VA the sole power of associations. The NAS and the IOM are just as biased as I pointed out. They just say, “we know it causes all of these medical issues we just do not know how to apply it to the Veterans; therefore it is denied.”
Again, this goes back to the previous questions. Applications depending on what proof value established by the anti-veteran VA secretary.
Never mind the corrupt activity of the previous committee (VACEH) set up for 12 years and established to do the same thing the NAS/IOM is contracted to do. Stall and deny because they do not know how to apply it to some dose rate, which is what the VACEH did.
Never mind that Ms. Mather’s predecessor publicly proclaimed there was no associations to Dioxins in way shape or form regarding any medical issues. Then went out into the scientific community and held symposiums on this issue. Now there are some nonbiased VA leaders for you.
I think I can safely speak for the majority of 4.2 million Vietnam Veterans here in this issue. Any study that involves the VA, and then involves the secretary of the VA, and then the President of the United Sates is useless. I would have to conclude that, given almost 40 years of total bias against the Vietnam Veterans by these official’s and that organization. That any study by them is useless and a waste of taxpayer money in finding any truth. The study will be manipulated, corrupted, words added that can then be used to override the laws of probabilities and statistics. As a last resort, more Veterans laws will be written overriding any such medical findings found in favor of the Veterans.
For close to 40 years now the VA, the VA secretary, and the White House have overridden data from our countries finest independent research groups, our finest independent scientists, the EPA, the OTA (commissioned by our own congress), international research organizations, their own report in 1989, data that shows a correlation in chemical company workers and chemical company accidents, and many others. Do any of you congressman and senators believe this so called study will be any different?
A study commissioned in 1993 and seven years later, there are still no results. Need I say more on the VA doing anything without total bias at the direction of the White House?
In fact, since my research shows that our toxin swills and toxin cocktails that were left over after our war was destroyed at sea off Johnson Island, a Pacific atoll. I would conclude this study is apples and oranges anyway. However, I am sure the VA and the VA secretary could come up with some rational as to why it is relevant. Unless of course it is in the Veterans favor. Then a new White House directed propaganda campaign would launch.
Dr. Weihsueh Chiu is the Project Manager, Agent Orange Study, National Security and International Affairs Division, General Accounting Office
How about four decades down the line congressman?
Please Mr. Chiu, I think it should be pointed out just another little fact in your statement that was overtly left out, I am sure. The CDC studies were totally biased and corrupted by the Reagan/Bush White House. See House Report HR 101-672 issued in 1991. The entire study was another four year 63 million dollar taxpayer paid for Agent Orange boondoggle.
As far as the government contracted NAS or the IOM, their Agent Orange studies have been worthless. While they say they know dioxin causes this or it causes that. They just say however, we do not know how to apply it to associations regarding the Vietnam Veterans and their medical issues, more than likely at the direction of the VA.
I again point out that the search is for Agent Orange not Agent White or Agent Blue nor the fact that the mixtures provide a tottaly different outcome than a stand-alone single toxin or carcinogen.
I would think with some truth for a change by the NAS/IOM would be an excellent start.
AMEN Congressman Sanders! Once again I point out the whole issue has been a government White House directed ruse since year one, 1968.
To the reader, I cover some of the more specific issues in Chapter 7 regarding the Ranch Hand report.
I will list the names that were on the subcommittee so our Veterans will know. How many were actually present at the subcommittee review I do not have a clue. It sounds as if some just submitted prepared statements and were not present at all probably from lack of interest. It did not read like there were very many congressmen there, as very few actually asked questions.
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM
DAN BURTON, Indiana, Chairman
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York
HENRY A. WAXMAN, California
CONSTANCE A. MORELLA, Maryland
TOM LANTOS, California
CHRISTOPHER SHAYS, Connecticut
ROBERT E. WISE, Jr., West Virginia
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
MAJOR R. OWENS, New York
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
EDOLPHUS TOWNS, New York
STEPHEN HORN, California
PAUL E. KANJORSKI, Pennsylvania
JOHN L. MICA, Florida
PATSY T. MINK, Hawaii
THOMAS M. DAVIS, Virginia
CAROLYN B. MALONEY, New York
DAVID M. McINTOSH, Indiana
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, Washington, DC
MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana
JOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida
CHAKA FATTAH, Pennsylvania
STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE, Ohio
ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS, Maryland
MARSHALL ``MARK'' SANFORD, South Carolina
DENNIS J. KUCINICH, Ohio
ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, Illinois
BOB BARR, Georgia
DANNY K. DAVIS, Illinois
DAN MILLER, Florida
JOHN F. TIERNEY, Massachusetts
ASA HUTCHINSON, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
LEE TERRY, Nebraska
THOMAS H. ALLEN, Maine
JUDY BIGGERT, Illinois
HAROLD E. FORD, Jr., Tennessee
GREG WALDEN, Oregon
JANICE D. SCHAKOWSKY, Illinois
DOUG OSE, California
PAUL RYAN, Wisconsin
BERNARD SANDERS, Vermont (Independent)
HELEN CHENOWETH-HAGE, Idaho
DAVID VITTER, Louisiana
Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations
CHRISTOPHER SHAYS, Connecticut, Chairman
MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana
ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, Illinois
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
TOM LANTOS, California
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
ROBERT E. WISE, Jr., West Virginia
JOHN L. MICA, Florida
JOHN F. TIERNEY, Massachusetts
DAVID M. McINTOSH, Indiana
THOMAS H. ALLEN, Maine
MARSHALL ``MARK'' SANFORD, South Carolina
EDOLPHUS TOWNS, New York
BERNARD SANDERS, Vermont (Independent)
LEE TERRY, Nebraska
JUDY BIGGERT, Illinois
JANICE D. SCHAKOWSKY, Illinois
HELEN CHENOWETH-HAGE, Idaho
The entire meeting just adds credence to the book and what information our government has not sought after. If it was found by accident, it was then changed to whatever the White House or the VA secretary wanted to be.
From this meeting, as Congressman Sanders pointed out, the government has talked a good story about what all they have done with little to show for it. Except, an all out concerted effort to deny and stall everything and anything. Even the Ranch Hand folks could not come up with much at all in the area of other studies. My conclusion would have been that since they are supposedly studying the same issue that these Ranch Hand owners should have been involved in the other studies at least in finding out what they were doing, how they are doing it, and what their conclusions are. However, as you can read for yourself there is no real interest and never has been, other than to deny, cover up any findings, and find ways to block legitimate claims.
Perhaps to keep some management and scientists employed is the only answer for this on-going boondoggle.
In fact, as I discuss in Chapter 7, this meeting finally established the actual worthlessness of the Ranch Hand study itself. Sold on the idea of being able to establish a convenient control group with some estimated known exposure and be able to correlate to some kind of scenario to the other Veteran population that may have less or even more exposure, as I discussed above.
With this admittance of the non-use of the Ranch Hand Study could any of the congressman tell us just where are all these so-called studies are that were supposed to help the Veteran. From what I can tell, since the VACEH was about as bias as they come (used between 1979 and 1991), the CDC studies were nullified by the White House, the Ranch Hand studies by confessions in your own meeting is not used to determine the associations Veterans have stated for years. Just what in the world is the government using, if anything, other than the NAS/IOM which is contracted by the VA for dioxin only and just states canned words, “We do not know how to apply it to the Veterans”.
In fact, the very government that used Agent Orange and the other toxins has now compromised every single study that the VA has said it will use to establish associations to Agent Orange. Every single one of them that taxpayers paid for, for the Veterans, is now compromised. Now if that does not fit the scenario of the fox guarding the henhouse (or should we now say the White House) perfectly, then nothing will.
We know the Ranch Hand study was modified many many times and now we find it is not used to determine any correlations or associations, any VA compensated medical issues, any thing other than to track 1300 Air Force sick guys. That may have eaten too many beer nuts while in Vietnam or drank too much kool-aide. The reason why they are sick is not based on Agent Orange, since the Ranch Hand review stated in 1987 the exposure data index is bad and the dose rate does not correlate. Therefore, even though the data shows an 80% increase of medical issues over the study group, it is not Agent Orange associated but they do not know why 80% are sicker; but they guarantee it is not Agent Orange.
Which the EPA now says there is no dose rate at present and may not ever be, even with years of research; and that even an exposure of parts per quadrillion is a problem.
Regarding the rational of why so many Veterans and Veterans widows are not drawing any compensation versus the real court awards in 1984. It is because the VA and the White House have it set up that way. There is enough medical evidence out there to sink a battle ship and yet if you look at the number one rational for denying claims the VA uses in denying claims. It is the law they wrote that says they can deny claims no matter how much medical evidence is presented. Veterans tire of the preplanned covert activity by the VA designed to frustrate and stall the Veterans, directed by the White House.
I say that because the President hires the VA secretary. Veterans would have to assume the VA secretary is only following the orders of his boss.
You only have to go the VA’s own classified report in 1989 that indicated 28 diseases and medical issues associated.
Listed as Service Connected to Agent Orange:
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 auto-immune diseases and disorders, 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.
You will notice there is no discussion of time limits.
This was based off of totally independent sources (research groups and scientists), past chemical company workers medical issues, chemical company accidents, and even fraudulent chemical company medial studies that were proven fraudulent in their reports about the damages that an occur in actual court cases. The key word being independent!
Let me add here that these autoimmune disorders caused by the toxins in creating long-term chronic immune system damage can be as simple as chronic sinus infections to an enlarged heart that takes the life of a Veteran.
You will also be happy to know, only 11 of these medical issues are recognized at present by the VA and the White House, four of which have with time limits. Three of which, even when they were announced, no Veteran could qualify for. Those were such nice additions by the White Houses. I just do not know how Veterans can thank those presidents enough. Instead of 28 medical issues, we now have, for all practical purposes, a total of seven. Seven begrudgingly added after 22 - 30 years of stalling and denying. Seven cancers, that more than likely are the direct result of a damaged immune system.
Then you want to know why there is a disparity between the real courts that accept real medical evidence and the VA. Either you congressmen are naïve or you are acting as such.
I can understand why so many Senators have let us down to a point. Because they are further up the political feeding frenzy of politics. Yet, history shows they as a body have done nothing but listen to the VA and those senators on the Veterans Affairs Committee who have betrayed Veterans.
Our congressmen on the other hand should have been in their pitching for your local Veterans. Instead, it seems there is little you have done to protect your own constituents, whether you want to call them Veterans or citizens. Protect them from what in reality has become government tyranny. I thought that was your job and what you were elected to do.
The Supreme Court definitely has let the Veterans down by allowing congress and the president to take away all his or her rights no matter what the government does to that segment of society or how many the government actually kills in the process.
From studying this issue for almost three years now, I can tell you my personal opinion and I think I speak for millions of Veterans. Both the house and the senate have failed miserably at what you were elected to do.
If you do not see a pattern of government corruption in this Agent Orange, Agent White, and Agent Blue issue, as with most matters with mass Veteran issues. Then you do not deserve any Veterans vote no matter what sate or district you rule in, not one vote from even a family member of a Veteran.
Any congressman or senator serving on the Veterans Affairs Committee should be voted out of office. They have not done the job of protecting their constituents from government hypocrisy and corruption. These men and women were citizens first. The fact that they chose to wear a uniform should not give the government the right to mount gauntlet after gauntlet against them.
Starting with Senator Arlin Specter of Pennsylvania who enabled this bogus and corrupt VA Court of Appeals to orchestrate these contrived and controlled denials.
Congressman Shays the White House and the VA have known this for years. The book documents what their response has been for four decades now.
Dr. Linda Schwartz is associate research scientist, Yale University School of Nursing, consultant, Veterans Health Care.
Ms Schwartz, I would conclude that many families of dead Veterans would agree with your assessment and statements. In addition, those with physically and mentally handicapped or cancer-ridden children and grandchildren would agree, to include those children that never survived our toxin legacy.
However, it should be stated that many of these Veterans did not have to die. No mam, our White House directed VACEH, the VA, and the secretary of the VA let these men and women die. It is only because of those corrupt officials in the White House and the VA and other politicians who created these cover-ups and misconceptions that allowed many to die. Rather than tell the Veterans a few simple blood tests are required for detection, they remained silent. Allowing the cancers and other autoimmune diseases to kill these warriors. When they might have had a chance to fight a stage 1 or stage 2 symptom-less cancers or autoimmune condition rather than fight the condition at a stage 5 or stage 7.
Yes, it is a tragedy and in the civilian world this lack of notification, when the damaging party knew all along, it then becomes criminal; except in the case of the Veterans, their widows, and their children. As in the past mass Veterans issues, the government is blameless except at the voting booth, no matter how many Veterans were killed by our government as a result of their own criminal actions.
I would like to thank Congressman Sanders and Congressman Shays for at least speaking up and showing their disgust in this issue. I would think you both are now on the GAO and VA hit list just as I am and many other Veterans who have spoken up.
There goes my VA AO disability compensation right out the door.