Below is an article called

“For Veterans, Justice Delayed is Justice Denied” by Thomas Segal

 

 

This article describes the “inaction by our elected officials” and the “corrupt and disingenuous actions by the DOD in conjunction with the VA” for stalling claims and the DOD even denying the events even took place of "Veteran guinea pig testing" until enough evidence leaks out that DOD denial is no longer plausible.

 

You may recall my comments on Project 112 testing and the subset of SHAD testing. I am finding out that this is just, once again, the tip of the iceberg of what has really gone on in this arena in three areas of the military; as the Veterans finally speak out and present evidence of just despicable government behavior against humanity and its own veterans.  Some of this to the point that it has also effected the local communities as well.  It has not been the primary subject of my  research but it does lend credence to the actions and inactions of cover ups and denials that have accompanied my research in my area.

 

In the below article, one could just as easily substitute the Vietnams Toxic Chemical Legacy Veteran as well as the Gulf War Syndrome issue Veteran.  To include many Vietnam Veterans never received their medals and awards, even "valor medals and citations" were never awarded.  The Vietnam Veterans either bought their own or went through a two year process of replacement of medals that were never originally awarded; yet, show on their discharge papers.

 

All any “Veteran Victim” of these government mistakes has ever asked for is an honest assessment of his and his offspring’s health status and some compensation for disabling conditions that it has caused; not pain and suffering which certainly our Veterans and Veterans families have endured as a direct result of the stated inactions by our political elected leaders and the direct actions of the DOD and our own VA.

 

While compensations are one issue; these stated actions and inactions at some point become criminal in blocking information that could have saved someone's life or kept him or her from becoming disabled.  Or forestalled these events by seeking a first strike at the "government known" medical conditions the Veteran would be more than likely subject to develop.

 

As you have seen, for forty plus years we have not received anything close to a fair and honest assessment by anyone in the elected government; much less the DOD and the VA.  

 


 

For Veterans, Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

 

Thomas D. Segel
tomsegel@joimail.com

 


Harlingen, Texas, July 20, 2005: The stories abound, but elected officials take no meaningful action.  Documentation is presented, but military leaders and Department of Defense executives just shuffle the paperwork for a few days and fail to resolve the complaints by taking no action.  The scenario is repeated time and time again for veterans of our armed forces.  Having served their country honorably and in many cases heroically, they are returned to civilian life without recognition, awards or promised benefits.


In many cases, they are even denied much needed medical care.

We are already seeing, failed promises and disregard for the veterans of our War Against Terrorism.  In particular, members of the various reserve units and National Guard have returned home only to encounter extreme difficulty gaining promised veteran assistance.  Of course, this isn’t something new in the ongoing plight of veterans.  Historically they have returned home from battling our nations enemies, only to be forced into a continued fight against the bureaucracy of an unsupportive VA.  Some would say it is a veteran’s agency in league with the military establishment to deny justice to these former service members.

Thousands upon thousands of military volunteers who participated in the atomic testing program between 1945 and 1963 were exposed to serious radiation resulting in illnesses and death.  There were so many exposed that the exact number of radiation caused illnesses are impossible to tabulate.

Veterans have testified that they were rarely told of the dangers they would face.  They were not given protective clothing and in most cases were not even provided with film badges that were designed to register radiation. When questioned about these veteran concerns or complaints the Department of Defense usually responded by statements to the effect that atomic tests were highly classified and could not be commented upon.

Because of the secret classification of such tests, veterans were not even identified as being participants.  Service records indicating participation often only stated the individual was sent on some unnamed temporary duty.  In other cases, the records were left blank, or reported as “lost” by the various branches of the armed forces.  The end result of this was a denial of medical treatment by the VA, because the veteran could not “document” participation in any atomic test program.

Similar “stonewalling” by the military establishment has taken place when documentation was requested by veterans who participated in human medical research tests from 1955 until 1975.  During those years almost 7,000 Army, Air Force and Marine personnel were subjected to medical experimentation “vital to the National Defense.”  Led by Director of Research, Colonel Albert Dreisbach, US Army Medical Corps and Civilian Clinical Chief Dr. Van Sim the testing was conducted by the Army Chemical Warfare Center at Edgewood, Maryland.  Members of Army Intelligence also staffed the test program.  Volunteers were never told what they were being subjected to, but were given multiple inspirations of toxic agents and psychochemicals.  These military volunteers were repeatedly tested using a variety of substances in what was called the “K” Agent Program.  One of those substances has been identified as LSD.  That, along with many of the agents used on our own personnel has still not been identified due to their secret classification.  However, the majority has been banned for use in military operations.

Bernard G. Elfert of Florida was assigned duty at the facility.  He recalls, “Clinical and other testing was conducted to determine the effects of various agents on humans.  The testing programs were highly classified.  I am unaware as to the current security classifications of the toxic chemicals and phychochemicals employed there, so I cannot specify their designations, the agents involved or regimens.  However, I have heard that since then most agents tested have been outlawed for military use.”

Elfert says, “In the absence of volunteer participation the various chemical agents could not have been tested.  The nature of the testing involved agents that posed unknown risk factors and such hazards could not be forced on military personnel as a duty.”  He believes the exposure to these various tests placed volunteers in danger and at great personal risk going far beyond the call of duty.  In his opinion, those who underwent the tests were
heroic.

One volunteer for the medical research program was Eric Muth, a seventeen-year-old Army Private from Connecticut.  During the orientation process, he along with the other volunteers was required to sign Security Non-Disclosure Statements and Consent Agreements.  These papers stated that the volunteers acknowledged “awareness” of the hazards involved.  The test subjects were also promised complete follow-up medical care and either the Soldier’s Medal or a special medal then under congressional consideration for exposing themselves above and beyond the call of duty.

During two separate testing periods in 1958, Private Muth was subjected to multiple exposures to those same toxic agents now outlawed by our country and other nations.  He was also repeatedly and unwittingly exposed to psychochemicals.  Today, he along with about 4,000 other human test subject survivors find themselves physically or mentally harmed for life.

Muth, who left the National Guard in 1969 as a Staff Sergeant, is a disabled veteran and is under treatment by the VA.  When he first applied, treatment was disallowed because he was an “over income” veteran.  He finally was granted medical care, not through the assistance of the government, but because he kept good personal records and obtained additional documentation of his service in the program through the Freedom of Information Act.  Winning this treatment required him to battle the government for six years, before it was approved.  With that approval, he is among a small number of test survivors to be offered care.

Other test subjects of chemical warfare testing are still blocked from treatment because the Pentagon will not release their names, thus evading responsibility for treatment by shifting the burden of health care to the private sector.

None of the military personnel were informed of the serious risks to life and health they faced, because those conducting the experiments had no knowledge of what would happen to people who were exposed to the test agents.  They were made promises of health care and personal decorations for their heroic service none were ever honored.

There should be no question concerning the heroism or the risks undertaken.  That should be evident when viewing the records of Clinical Chief Dr. Van Sim.  He was awarded a DoD medal to recognize Exceptional Civilian Service for placing himself “in grave personal danger” and he didn’t ingest a single chemical agent.

Another proof of justice being denied to these test veterans can be seen when reviewing the Code of Federal Regulations.  In recognizing presumptive conditions, which military personnel could have received from exposure to various agents while on active duty, the code limits application of its rules to those exposed in Southeast Asia or the Persian Gulf.  Those who developed the same conditions because they were test subjects who were gassed, drugged or injected in the United States of America, are excluded.

Additional federal regulations, known as the Feres Doctrine, even forbid these veterans from seeking justice through civil lawsuits.  Because they were on active duty at the time of the tests, they are denied the right of court-mandated action.

Volunteer participants in the Edgewood experiments deserve suitable recognition for their outstanding service to the armed forces and this nation.  Their actions far exceed the recognized standards of duty. 

 

Justice demands the country face up to its obligations or promised care and personal commendation.