Posted on Dec 10th
Added additions on Dec 18th
Dec 6th DC meeting Sit Rep,
Presented by me: http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/Chas/housecom.htm
Presented by Glenda: http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/Chas/housecomglenda.htm
Hello Marines, Army, Seabees, Navy, and Air Force Veterans, Wives, and Widows.
First, this was not what I thought it was and was an open meeting and only a few congressmen showed up. Some representatives for the congressmen did show up. It was a meeting in the House VAC meeting room held by the VAC chairman's office, they would not let us broadcast it live. That was a change.
Instead, there were VA officials and managers there, which was not what I wanted to do battle with at this time. However, it did not make any difference. I went up to present data and/or pick a fight whichever they chose.
Congressman Buyer did come in for a bit but just to see what the yelling was about, I think!!!!!
Colonel Jeff Phillips.
I would like everyone to take a few minutes at my request and as a personal favor to me and send a thank you note by e-mail to Colonel Jeff Phillips out of Congressman Buyers shop who was responsible for at least letting a few of us Veterans be heard with our issues.
Another meeting will take place in April sometime.
Mr. Jeffery Phillips (Colonel US Army)
Communications Director Committee on Veteran's Affairs
335 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Colonel Phillip’s e-mail is email@example.com
I have taken the liberty to do a sample e-mail at http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/Chas/sampleforphillips.htm
for you to copy/paste and add anything else you want. Remember what Congressman Filner told me the first time I went to DC that we should make the letters and e-mails as close as possible to saying the same thing.
Yes, it is past time to fight but it is also time to thank those who are giving us that platform in order to fight.
Congressman John Boozman.
Congressman John Boozman of Third District of Arkansas came in the VAC room, introduced himself, and shook hands all around. Someone took the opportunity to jump on him in a totally inappropriate manner, in my opinion. You can ask a genuine question without being disrespectful and then point out issues in the reply if you disagree. There is passion and then their disrespectful passion.
I think the Congressman was legitimately concerned about Veterans, at least that was my impression, and it takes a good man to fool me with my black and white engineering brain.
The question was: How come it takes so long to get a VA claim through?
His answer was that government works slowly (archaic) and our VA slow claim issues were similar to the Social Security Claim issues, including a description of the processes and problems even within the Social Security system.
I then rose to the point that when it comes to an already associated disorder that the government has taken an incredible 30 years to find associated, that it is totally different than the social security system decision matrix. In our case, there is no decision matrix only the verifying of "three statements of fact."
DD-214 showing service in Nam.
A copy of those medical disorders already approved after 30 years of research.
A copy of the diagnosis
that verifies that medical condition that is already approved.
This is not complicated and there is no excuse for any government agency to take 14 to 18 months to get this done, including the VA when there are no complex medical decisions to be made.
In fact, I would think some part time employees assigned only to that task of "associated claims" could eliminate the backlog in no time. This of course would now expedite and make more time for those claims that are actually in contention for various other reasons. As expected, a claim in contention would obviously take longer than a claim that only needs verification of three established data points.
We need to hit this point hard with our political officials. There is no excuse for this kind of VA performance.
Our guys are dying from government/DOD caused cancers and cannot get the financial help they need for already associated disorder in less than 14 months minimum. Conversely to that description for approval the VA has the manpower and the were-with-all that 20 milliseconds after the Veteran takes his last breath to cut off his benefits or at least reduce the amount going to the family.
Now the Secretary of the VA indicated at his coronation one reason why it took so long on any claim was it had many parts. Well guess what? You can approve a partial claim if it is already associated and get the money to the veteran and his family to assist in fighting the medical anomalies directly caused by the White House and the DOD. If not, then the VA processes are totally biased and now subject to a conflict of White House interest.
These delays in "already associated disorder approvals" do not only not support the affected Veteran and his family when they need it; this delay also causes him issues as being "service connected" within the VA hospital system. As well as denies him his State Veteran benefits which can be substantial benefits depending on the state and the county within the state the Veteran and his family reside. A Veteran on his death or sick bed should not have to be fighting these issues.
However, even these cases in contention with regard to the VA are suspect considering the following:
“The American Legion’s
Quality Review Team visited the St. Petersburg VA Regional Office. While there,
we were confronted with graphic evidence of premature and erroneous denials of
claims, a general lack of compliance with the Veterans’ Claims Assistance Act
(VCAA) rules, and other types of inappropriate action. It almost appears as
part of an orchestrated policy of manipulation of the station’s production
figures as a means of meeting its mandated production quotas. Management,
rating board members, decision review officers, and front-line claims processors
are under tremendous pressure from VA Central Office to produce the expected
monthly quotas. There were cases in which veterans received letters stating
that their claims were being denied, because their military records may have
been destroyed in the 1972 fire at the National Personnel Records Center. The
problem was that these veterans got out of the service years after the fire took
“As disturbing as these tactics are, what was even more shocking was the intentional neglect of the backlog of pending appeals and remanded cases from the Board of Veterans Appeals. Remands are not being worked, because the station receives no work credit toward their mandated monthly production quota. This is not a local issue. It is a National Issue.”
“At St. Petersburg, there were over 1,300 remands in which The American Legion holds power of attorney. Some of these cases had been remanded by the Board more than five years ago and were still waiting final regional office action.”
Send an e-mail to the Congressman thanking him for at least coming by to speak to us and answer a few questions. He certainly did not have to appear.
A sample E-mail or letter is posted at: http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/Chas/sampleforboozman.htm
His mail address is:
Congressman John Boozman
1519 Longworth Building
Washington DC 20515
His web link for e-mail is located at:
Senator Bill Frist.
One of our Nam vets was part of Senator Bill Frists' campaign efforts early on. After reviewing my presentation on the Internet he contacted me on the way up to DC and was contacting Senator Frist to get him to also attend. Understandably the pace was too fast and Senator Frist was already committed to other activities that day.
However, they are working on a possible meeting after the holidays in Knoxville, TN which is only four hours from me so that is even better for me, including I think it will be "one on one" or similar.
My thanks and appreciation to this Veteran in his efforts to get us heard.
Congressman Lane Evans.
As you know, I have stated many times Congressman Evans is a Veterans Advocate. Unfortunately, as I have found there are too few on the hill with as much passion as Congressman Evans for Veterans and their families. I live in Georgia not Indiana so I have no dog in that political fight. Congressman Evans was the one that called the oversight meeting on the Ranch Hand study and as most of you know my opinion on that and the lack of integrity in that 140 million dollar study. Including some in congress had tried to improve the integrity in this study many years before this 2000 meeting, which still had charges of very little integrity. Including charges by the GAO itself, which surprised me.
In my opinion, this was the single most important government meeting since our toxic chemical war was over for us Vietnam Veterans and our offspring. Yet, out of two committees that were supposed to be there out of an approximate 52 congressmen, only three showed up. Congressman Evans, Shays, and Sanders.
Not much support from those in political office that say they support Veterans.
If you read my book, I have a blow by blow of charges in Chapter Five from those transcripts including when one of the congressmen actually asked the NAS/IOM that have held our fate since 1991, "Are you refusing to answer the question?" This was on the processes used to determine levels of category and recommendations on "associated disorders."
I will get into more of this later in the report as to what I argued was only required for an association.
Let me say, that while Congressman Evans was not there in attendance he sent Mr. Len Sistek, Jr. who is the Staff Director Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations House Committee on Veteran's Affairs.
This was a huge, I cannot even describe how large "a plus" for all Veterans and their widows. In fact, a discussion broke out within the panel itself on "what constitutes a Veteran." It was obvious the VA wants changes in this definition. While the congressman and others do not. In fact the panel was asking for our opinions.
Now as Veterans that are on the way out; for us, I doubt any change will affect us. In my opinion, as long as the government is straight forward as to what their promises mean for those that are enlisting now or reenlisting now and know up front the government is changing their benefits whether perceived as benefits from the previous history of Veterans or not; then I guess I really do not see a problem. However, they do have the "right to know" before they enlist or reenlist.
Glenda sort of broke the argument on the definition as totally irrelevant.
As long as the DOD has the Feres Doctrine and as long as the VA has U.S.C. 38 para 511 then all Veterans should qualify for earned medical care and disability compensations. Since these two issues give the DOD/government complete and unfettered legal authority to do anything they want to Veterans with no accountability and no constitutional legal redress for the Veteran or his widow.
This includes biological, toxin, radiation, toxic chemical, toxic gas testing, and Edgewood Arsenal testing, etc. We know this from 70 years of previous history within our own government and the DOD.
"U.S.C 38 Paragraph 511
(a) The Secretary shall decide all questions of law and fact necessary to a decision by the Secretary under a law that affects the provision of benefits by the Secretary to veterans or the dependents or survivors of veterans. Subject to subsection (b), the decision of the Secretary as to any such question shall be "final and conclusive" and may not be reviewed by any other official or by any court, whether by an action in the nature of mandamus or otherwise.
In fact, the VA argued that this was not true as to what I described as to its meaning. That description was that government had given a White House appointed "federal administrator" who is involved with making policy and laws entirely too much legal power over one segment of society that no longer has any semblance of the separation of powers. Then add in the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals which in my opinion is a joke working hand and hand with the VA you have no real legal redress for the Veteran citizen society.
I was asked if I approved of the BVA and my answer was again I thought it was joke working hand in hand with the local VA shops. I was told that the BVA is what Veterans wanted and were glad to get it. Now I cannot imagine any Veteran if he or she was told how one sided this was to be would want this form of court or legal system.
As I recall, the DC District Court actually used this "U.S.C 38 Paragraph 511 to say they had no (zero) legal authority to even hear or review Veteran Kidwell's case. Even though there was much evidence to show the VA counselors were not being truthful. Yet, still this court refused the case based on the power given to the VA and its Secretary in "U.S.C 38 Paragraph 511.
To be further discussed in later section.
How important was it that Mr. Sistek from Congressman Evans' office was there to hear the debate?
Message received on December 9th, 2005 from Mr. Sistek:
"When I return from my series of oversight visits in the great lakes area, I will work with the Benefits team and see if they can move forward on the presumption."
This presumption is on "peripheral neuropathy" as a stand alone. Not this "transient acute and subacute Peripheral Neuropathy" that no one has, or has ever had, or is ever going to have, or could ever qualify for.
I cannot describe to you how huge this really is!!!!!! I am usually pretty numb on most things as most of us are. However, this brought tears to my eyes. That after all the hard work Glenda and I put in and the money spent we may actually win one battle for all of us. One that should have been admitted to, decades ago. But as we know from our war, one battle victory does not win the war. There is still much to do for all. And everyone; Veterans, Veteran's wives, Veteran's widows, and the children of Veterans need to help.
Again, the VA contended this was congress that did this to us but as I will point out later this was something negotiated by the VA and will prove that in letters by individual doctors as well as EPA toxicologist who were protesting this to Secretary Derwinski as a "VA initiative;" not the congress's initiative to time limit and put a time limit of resolution on this most "prolific of all toxic chemical nerve damages" associated to our toxic chemical legacy. In fact, in the regulations, rewritten in 1989, as I understand them. The Secretary of the VA had the power to override anything should he deem it justifiable. Of course, I guess that is only if the man that appointed him, the president, Agrees or I would conclude that it could be very "career limiting" at best.
However, I will do a comparison of what that was in 1989 and what it has been changed to in 2005, which as a cursory look did not look like much had changed. Even if changes were made to some degree there was still some 16 years the Secretary could have done much for us if his boss chose to support him. We need to now think about what the governments chain of command is in "not supporting Veterans" for government/DOD mistakes.
We need to send a "special thank you" to Congressman Evans' office for sending Mr. Sistek and to please support his initiative in correcting at least this one "decades of wrong" done to Veterans on Peripheral Neuropathy. And a special thank you for supporting all Veterans Issues.
In case you are not aware, Congressman Evans has been instrumental in trying to uncover the testing that was done on Veterans. Although from the articles I read he was and is not getting much corporation from the DOD or the VA higher ups.
Sample E-mail or letter is posted at: http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/Chas/sampleforevans.htm
His Washington Office address for hard copies of letters to be sent is:
Congressman Lane Evans
2211 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20515
His E-mail address is:
Or please do both.
In addition, we need to "especially" thank Mr. Len Sistek, Jr. for being in attendance.
Sample e-mail and/or letter to Mr. Len Sistek, Jr.: http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/Chas/sampleSistek.htm
I believe we made some headway on the toxic chemical Central Nervous System damages causing neuropsychological effects, cognitive deficits, dementia, etc. At least we had them discussing some examples.
Just not enough time and I was just sapped from fatigue. I think there should be a totally separate meeting to discuss this issue. Or at least discuss two or three discrete issues only. Also I think a separate meeting on birth defects is also in order.
I doubt these will every happen but I would not have ever believed this one would take place. So I guess there is always that chance.
In addition, to my requests for specific individuals to receive e-mails or letters of thanks. You need to contact your specific politicians to support the meetings and also the Veterans Issues we are pointing out.
You can do this very simply by going to http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/index.html
and following the instructions or just click on the state you live in.
A sample letter could be as follows: http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/Chas/samplegeneric.htm
Now there are indeed some good words of praise also for those VA officials that were in attendance such as William McLemore, even though I disagree with many of his positions. In several cases we brought up where the Veteran's wife needed some assisted living for her terminal brain cancer husband. They are working hard to get her some kind of help to allow her to keep her husband at home rather than a hospice house. These efforts are greatly appreciated by all Veterans.
Now do I believe that brain cancer can be associated to the toxic chemicals (plural)? You bet I do.
The head of the Veterans Party also got her a pro bono Social Security attorney to expedite help in that area.
After the meeting Jeffrey Phillips (Communications Director), William McLemore (Deputy Assistant Secretary Intergovernmental and International Affairs), and Len Sistek, Jr. (Democratic Staff Director Oversight and Investigations) stayed and answered questions as long as the group wanted. To say the least, these busy men did not have to do this. Unfortunately, I was past going with fatigue, pain, and low sugar, did not have much energy left (sorry fellows), and could not take advantage of this nice gesture on their part. Needless to say we all thank them for their efforts and energy.
I would add, the only reason why I am covered for Diabetes Type II at present by the VA is through the direct efforts of Mr. Phillips and Mr. McLemore.
Sample e-mail or letter to Mr. William McLemore: http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/Chas/sampleMclemore.htm
Some other issues I will be covering that were discussed as I can get caught up on some rest, outside of what is in red above, is the BVA and the legal issues they have on us that no other court in the land can have.
The VA seems to think and said that this is what veterans wanted. Now I do not know this history of how it was even brought up. As I indicated before I can understand the VSO's wanting this to a point but not by anyone thinking clearly if they knew and understood the legal ramifications ahead of time.
The VA seems to think Cause and Effect is necessary which flies in the face of the congressional mandates and the courts rulings.
Gulf War Precedence's set.
Doctors letters as well a EPA letters.
Added Rebuttals to meeting on dec 6th
Sent to the VA, the congressmen, and congressional staff present on dec 6, 2005
Please you do the same to your congressman and senators as separate rebuttals
Rebuttal 1 start
U.S.C 38 Para 511
During several discussions the issues of U.S.C 38 para 511 came up.
"U.S.C 38 Paragraph 511
(a) The Secretary shall decide all questions of law and fact necessary to a decision by the Secretary under a law that affects the provision of benefits by the Secretary to veterans or the dependents or survivors of veterans. Subject to subsection (b), the decision of the Secretary as to any such question shall be "final and conclusive" and may not be reviewed by any other official or by any court, whether by an action in the nature of mandamus or otherwise.
Now the way this is written if you break it down, in my opinion:
The VA Secretary has the total legal authority as a "federal administrator position only" (no different than a social security administrator position without that same legal power) to interpret any law or any congressional mandate that applies to Veterans as to what he or she thinks including the appropriateness as to application or inappropriateness of application of any mandated laws that cover Veterans. In other words, you can pass all the laws or congressional mandates you want and the VA Secretary has the power to determine anything that he wants, as it applies to Veterans. Including, the addition of more stringent policies and procedures.
Now the VA says, almost as if it is an everyday thing, that you can take issues to the Supreme Court or a District Court. Yet, the first thing that comes out of the government lawyers is you do not have that authority and now every time, you have to fight that battle first, which can take decades for heaven sakes. Then the court states even when you get to that point that they have no legal authority to review this issue no matter what it is.
Including any action that involves a mandamus act. What that "otherwise" in U.S.C 38 paragraph 511 actually means is certainly ambiguous and legally arguable for decades, I would conclude.
"Mandamus act" - an extraordinary writ commanding an official to perform a ministerial act that the law recognizes as an absolute duty and not a matter for the official's discretion; used only when all other judicial remedies fail.
So even a direct court legal written command "to perform," no longer applies to the Secretary of the VA when it comes to Veterans issues.
This becomes more obvious when you consider the courts review 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 the dioxin TCDD and various diseases.”
While the VA did not challenge the courts rulings or the courts ruling to force the VACEH to revisit and review all the previous findings and rulings and what I deem "biased processed decisions" under the "new court mandated protocols of evidence required" and not "cause in effect," which according to the courts ruling was to stringent and was not the intent of congress.
The VA instead just ignored the courts findings and the VACEH was replaced by the NAS/IOM.
The legal issue here, as far as I am concerned, is no different than the Feres Doctrine which violates the separation of powers regarding the DOD demanded by the constitution, not a suggestion.
You have a "federal agency administrator" that is given legal powers beyond the scope of any one persons pay grade, including constitutional law. Consider that the White House appoints the administrator; that now is given what has to be deemed unfettered legal control over an entire segment of society operating at White House Philosophy.
Including in our toxic chemical issues much campaign money is given to those running for president and some of those in congress by the chemical companies themselves. Thereby, certainly establishing a "conflict of interest" in not only the president but some members of congress and very definitely "the March Orders of the VA."
I do not think this is what is called "separation of powers" or even comes close to that definition. In fact, this process could be called many things, besides constitutional.
"The reality of the VA is that it combines executive, legislative and judicial branch functions all into one Department."
Rebuttal 1 end
A special note to those Veterans, Veterans wives, Veterans widows, and children of Veterans who are reading this report:
I am not the one just now making this known that the VA becomes all encompassing. "The reality of the VA is that it combines executive, legislative and judicial branch functions all into one Department." (Veterans for Due Process, Inc.) http://www.vdpi.org/
In fact, some organizations have made the attempt before congress to make the VA legal system have some form of accountability to someone other than the President and his mandated budget constraints for the real cost of war and past government Presidential and DOD mistakes.
Yet, it seems those that say they support Veterans in congress at present do not. They have bought in to this whole system including the BVA which I will address later.
To me, it is becoming increasingly obvious that our national media will also NOT report the truth in these issues.
As I have stated we will get no change until this becomes a national security issue addressed by all concerned.
fellows need to go to this link.
Vets for Due Process at http://www.vdpi.org/
A former 7th Marine Corporal is the main guy.
I wanted to pass on what the DOD is doing to our active duty fellows.
DC, I stayed at the Naval Lodge outside of DC to save some money.
A young Marine came down obviously in much pain and discomfort while a group of us were down in the lobby area. He saw my hat and started asking questions of some older Vets that he might draw on our experience. Smart guy.
Apparently, they were going to discharge him with disability. He asked if I had ever heard of the myelin nerve sheath being destroyed. Obviously, he had come to the right veteran and was surprised I knew about it and what is was doing.
He was in DC to go before a DOD disability board because he hade refused to take only the 50%. The JAG officer he had, had told him that with his disabilities the DOD would give him 50% but she had checked the VA ratings and they would then take him to a 100% for the exact same issues - after his discharge.
The whole group just hollered, in a pig’s eye they will. Of course he was taken back by this as we explained. They can say all they want, the VA can do anything they want, and there is nothing you can do about it. To even get him a decision could take decades by the VA. You see he was not aware of the VA sole power and the mid-management bonuses paid for denying; or the mandated budgets.
He stated he did not know who was on his side. I assured him we were and unfortunately that was about it, including most of the entire congress.
To a veteran in the group, including two nurses, we told him to get his 100% rating now and nothing less. Do not let the DOD and JAG convince you the VA is going to do anything for you as a veteran. The VA works for the president and mandated budgets only!
He thanked us, I ran into him the next AM, and he again said he was not going to settle for 50% just to make the DOD and the JAG officer happy.
That is the kind of DOD propaganda that is put out on our kids and I will call them kids even though they are Marines. These kids have no idea what the DOD and the VA is doing to them to minimize all costs to the President and the DOD.
Rebuttal 2 start
Cause and Effect: Myth or Legal Requirement
Several comments were made during the VAC meeting on Dec 6th, 2005 that we "need to know" "cause and effect" for these mass Veteran medical Issues to award compensations for death and disability, more than likely 95% of them caused by government/DOD mistakes in our toxic chemical legacy.
My comment was, that we will never know what caused what, or even which toxic chemical or group of toxic chemicals to what level caused what. This could only be done, as I suggested, if you had a warehouse full of Veterans that were willing to be tested to destruction by replicating dosages of each toxic chemical, combinations of each toxic chemical, taking dapsone and not taking dapsone, different methods of ingestions and different rates of ingestions. In other words replicating the entire toxic chemical war. Verifying one does not rule out combinations unless you do exclusionary testing also.
Then do not forget the differences in formulas by each manufacturer. This is a fact of replication and trust me I have seen this over my career that no two manufacturing process are identical even though one company is doing exactly what the other company says to do. It can be a person on the line that over years has learned what to do in certain situations to make the lots pass inspection. Something happens and the company lets that person go or the person seeks employment elsewhere and the formula is lost as to what was intended. Including variances in not only the levels of the one dioxin TCDD but variances of other less notable dioxins, including that some lots will have additional dioxins and closely related furans. Totally different dioxin isomers as well as "dioxin like" isomers.
This becomes particularly significant if you look at the statements made by Dr. Teitelbaum who indicated in 1989 after reviewing Dow's formulation of Agent White he found other dioxins, closely related furans, and xanthones that "had never been made known to any federal agency, including the EPA and the FDA."
While the myth is that Agent Orange was the most widely used herbicide and that is true to a point. The most widely used toxic chemical was 2,4-D found in both Agent White and in Agent Orange. Yet ,all studies are based on 2,4,5-T and its byproduct of the dioxin TCDD. Including that when the Board of Veteran Appeals (BVA) turns down a Veteran the U.S.C. code used for legally denying that claim only references the the byproduct chemical formula for the dioxin TCDD. Yet, the Veteran is submitting for Agent Orange herbicide (total) exposure damages. When in reality he or she should be submitting for all herbicide damages including Agents Orange, Super Orange or Agent Orange II, White, Blue, the 15 commercially named herbicides that were used, and the other variances of military herbicides used such as Agents Purple and Green. The latter which seems to have the highest levels of the dioxin TCDD not Agent Orange. Including that changes were made in the Agent Orange formula at some point in time although I do not know when the cut off point was established. I think the Columbia University study found that change in their completion of the Herbicide tapes that for 40 years our government said "it could not be done."
Yes, the dioxin TCDD is the most carcinogenic man made substance known to date. In fact, many are starting to compare the carcinogenic properties and severity of other toxic chemicals to the worst one, that being the dioxin TCDD. Does not mean that many Veterans were not also affected by Agent Blue as an example or any combination thereof.
I developed Cyanosis in Vietnam that I never had before or since. Now is this a coincidence that the only time in my life I had this issue was in Vietnam and just a coincidence the herbicide Agent Blue which produces Cyanosis was also being used? That would be one heck of a coincidence.
Therefore "significant correlation at some level" or "increased risk of incidence" is all that we will ever know and by the United States previous rulings and by a "courts review with mandamus directions which were ignored" of the intent of that philosophy by the congress; that is all that is required for death and disability associated compensations.
My statements are based on the recent scientific statements regarding the single dioxin TCDD. These statements conclude that what science thought they knew 20 years ago as to how the dioxin TCDD creates what it does in its multiple system modifications; has gotten much more complex than just a binding of the cell receptors. This damaging process leaving the cell as part of the body itself but now blocking or modifying its functions. It is now suggested by science that the dioxin TCDD also changes the cell DNA thereby making the cell no longer part of the body.
Therefore if the congress even had a "mandated benefit of the doubt in 1984" by the recent scientific statements that "benefit of the doubt" should be even stronger. Yet, the disability commission was questioning if they should continue to give the Veteran the benefit of the doubt. My question to the VA at the disability commission meeting was, "Where is it given now?" The answer was, "well they will just tell you they give it to you." Only the VA can get away with saying some totally dumb answer like that. In my attachment three on the CD I submitted, it was obvious that even in 50/50 BVA case there is no benefit of the doubt but only BVA legal power which I will address in a separate submittal.
In addition, unlike most toxic chemicals, the TCDD damage is not just serial in effect but more along the line of a series of events that can have parallel branches to other systems. This is especially true in cytokine changes where the changing of one not only has direct interference to another cytokine but an indirect influence on the adjacent cytokines in a totally different type response.
As I discussed I am working on a "failure modes and effects" of the known cytokine changes in Vietnam Veterans from the Korean AO study. This will take some bit of time but I think it is clearly the best analysis vehicle we have at this point.
"Cause and effect" is certainly a "nice to know for a 200 year science project" but not necessary in determining a medical diagnosis, cause, identifying medical conditions, or even defined medical parameters.
There are many such disorders under the generic terms of "autoimmune disorders" and even cancers that the study of medicine for centuries cannot provide the "cause." Even the "effect" is qualified as "a syndrome" or similar or any number of symptoms that a patient may have and not all patients will have all of the symptoms, as every individual is different.
This medical presentation includes nominal testing values by shear repetition that have established some boundaries of the disorder as being called "whatever." Including that periodically as some researcher takes a shot at explaining the additional ramifications or even precautionary testing found in some patients that might offer to others data points that other scientist can also can build on in an ultimate cause and effect. Does not mean they have found the "absolute cause." Only that the additional data points do exist. What they mean to the world of science is subject to interpretation by those in that medical and scientific arena. This is a constant and continual process in finding some form of cause and the related effects in the generic syndrome. To say that it would encompass and define all those patients or even 70% of those patients that have this disorder and their symptoms is a stretch. Indicators maybe, but not inclusive to all.
Remember that even in the drug testing for new pharmaceutical drugs that not every one will react the same or develop the same side effects of the new drug.
Because we are all different.
Do we now consider U.S. Veterans exactly the same biologically when no segment in the world is considered the same? Of course not. Except it seems if the United States Government has to foot the bill for their own pre-warned government/DOD mistakes then this totally unrealistic compensation for death and disability policy is invoked.
The exclusion to this is in the Gulf War Syndrome. Which I think the VA is mandating that it be called Gulf War Illness as if they have more data than they are telling as to the parameters and what exactly is happening.
This consists of, as I understand it, a number of set symptoms that develop and are developing in our Gulf War I Veterans. What the qualification procedures are, testing procedures are and testing data you must meet, or how many of what do you have to have or test to; is unknown to me and for this discussion is irrelevant.
The very fact that the VA did this is "unprecedented" in their history, that I can find anyway; is totally relevant.
While I must give credit for a VA sane and rational policy. Without looking at how the VA is treating this illness, not syndrome, and the qualifications for such illness; I cannot comment on how genuine this VA precedent setting rule actually is to our Gulf War Veterans.
Rebuttal 2 end
Rebuttal 3 start
Linear dose response to the dioxin TCDD
During the meeting I put forward that this also is a scientific fallacy mandated in the government studies. Which as I pointed out in my presentation seemed to be lacking in integrity for many reasons I documented and submitted and that was just a small portion of the diseinginuash actions on file.
More recently the EPA announced in many disorders there does not seem to be a dose response for some medical issues. Including giving examples of the higher dose that did not cause thyroid atrophy but the smaller dose did cause this medical issue. Also the EPA has concluded that autoimmune disorders require a threshold 100 times less than that of a cancer. Logic would dictate exposures therefore would produce more autoimmunity than cancers. All be it the autoimmunity perhaps lending itself to the development of cancers, any cancer.
This non dose rate response is clearly conclusive in the Seveso, Italy "dioxin only" disaster. Whereas unlike our toxic chemical legacy theirs was a single distribution point of the toxic chemicals. Yet, to the surprise of the researchers esophageal cancer and soft tissue sarcomas were more prevalent in the lesser exposed geographical areas (further away from the central contamination point). In fact if you look at the study there many such examples of more observed cancers in the less contaminated area.
While the scientists did not show the ratio of "All Circulatory Diseases" with respect to the contamination zones, this is tragic indeed.
In looking at the data there were more observed mortality from circulatory diseases in the 15 year study than cancers. While the study did show cancer sites with respect to contamination zone levels.
This data point would have been another indicator of the hypothesis put forth in the Ranch Hand transcripts, not the Air Force redacted reports, concluding: That one reason why the Ranch Hand was not seeing the cancers they had expected is that the Ranch Handers were dying early from cardiovascular issues and not living long enough to develop the expected cancers and cancer sites. It was also brought out that many had died from cardiovascular issues before the first physicals were given in 1982. This cardiovascular involvement was also found in the Korean AO Impact Studies.
One rationale the government and its contracted agencies (hired guns) have stated over and over that the dioxin TCDD is very common in many things. Although, I have read where this concentration is now diminishing some what due to various reasons. However, one must look at the cumulative effects in the body of this toxic chemical swill.
I have found not one study that shows the etiology of body expulsion of the dioxin TCDD nor its rate of expulsion compared to the rate of ingestion or rate of cell attachment. While the half life of the dioxin TCDD seems to scientifically put at 7-10 years.
In the Dioxin Risk analysis done by Emory University their conclusion was the dioxin TCDD may very well be the very first "All Site Human Carcinogen." Thereby concluding that "any cancer" not just what the VA has deemed associated can be a direct causation of this toxic chemical. In addition, this study found that by doubling the TCDD background increases the risk of cancer anywhere from 12.1% to 13%. This is based on only a 5 ppt nominal in the general population. For Vietnam Veterans this normal generic population exposure does not apply since Vietnam Veterans would be expected to have an already higher baseline than the "general public" that would accumulate this level over a longer period of time than the Veterans, which can certainly also be an impact. A much higher dose rate as it where.
Then add on any normalized generic additional dioxin accumulation that we know is prevalent, not just in this country but world itself, and it could be the dose in Vietnam Veterans might not be the direct cause but the forming of a higher baseline and rate would be the direct cause.
The issue is that the Emory scientists could not determine is if this increased risk found is linear in function, step linear in function, or a logarithmic.
One must consider those facts and the relevancy to any "cause and effect" and as they say, "ain't going to happen in our life time." The very best we will have is an "increased risk of incidence" in my opinion and that has existed for decades now.
It is clearly obvious the government mandates to a "liner dioxin dose response," except for maternal birth defects (which is also unprecedented in our toxic chemical legacy and certainly a double VA standard) is not even logical and only provides government and chemical company exonerating evidence, not scientific conclusions.
Rebuttal 3 end
Rebuttal 4 start
During the DC meeting on December 6th it was put forward that the Board of Veterans Appeal (BVA) was what the Veterans had fought for and actually wanted. I indicated that I did not like it for many reasons including it seems to be more of a legalized Veterans lottery including the fact that BVA precedence's could not be cited or ruled as evidence. This is the backbone of our entire constitutional legal system. Otherwise judges and lawyers would still be arguing who is going to pay for the Boston Tea Party damages. And it seems this is the exactly what the BVA is set up to do.
Now I was not involved during this time so I do not know how it came about. Only that I know "lets get the Veterans one more time" Senator Specter had a large hand in getting it established. In his direct words "if it does not work out we can always do away with it." Fat chance of that. It is not working, except for the mandated budgets by the White House as intended as the flood of toxic chemical claims was going to flood the White House in the mid 1980's. The time line is certainly a coincidence.
Now if Veterans knew how one sided and actually unconstitutional this court was to be I for one cannot imagine any Veteran or Veteran's widow wanting this form of so-called justice.
I ask the congressmen and senators I am copying would you want to be judged by a court like this?
With rules like:
cannot use previous BVA rulings as precedence.
So it is a court but then it is not a court in the real legal world. Perhaps this is why it takes decades instead of minutes to get a ruling since no precedence's are allowed.
“The Board notes, however, that in May 2003, VA gave notice that the Secretary had determined that a presumption of service connection based on exposure to Agent Orange used in Vietnam during the Vietnam era “was not warranted” for a number of disabilities, including "chronic persistent peripheral neuropathy." 68 Fed. Reg. 27,630 (May 20, 2003).”
The head court judge appointed by the President defending the White House/DOD and their insane decisions to use these toxic chemicals, as it where, has already ruled against the Veteran before the Veteran even gets into this mockery of a legal system.
“The Board gives much more weight to the NAS/IOM analysis than to the opinion of the private treating neurologist because the NAS analysis is based on the most recent scientific and epidemiological data. The opinion of the VA examiner that there is no objective evidence of an etiology for the peripheral neuropathy, considered in conjunction with the NAS analysis, shows that the most that can be determined without a resort to speculation is that the veteran's peripheral neuropathy is idiopathic in nature; it is of undetermined cause. See Madden v. Gober, 125 F.3d 1477, 1481 (Fed. Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 523 U.S. 1046 (1998)
The judge and jury now gives more weight to some hired guns hired by the very government you are seeking damages from. Obviously, this is a conflict of interest considering the evidence that I submitted in my presentation CD on Dec 6th that shows even the tainted government studies found the magical linear dioxin dose response to chronic polyneuropathy as well as the other studies I cited.
Including the many questions surrounding the NAS/IOM as to what level of anything they are looking for. An example of this is from the 2000 oversight committee meeting when Congressman Shays asked Mr. Butler of the NAS/IOM many questions and as the congressman concluded he felt like he was playing a chess match in trying to get a straight answer out of Mr. Butler. I felt the same way in discussing several issues as to what level of evidence or proof they required for recommendations and could get no (zero) mandated decision matrix or level of proof per category. Yet, these scientists are judging Veterans. If the congress does not feel they are entitled to the exact formulas and levels of proof I can assure you those that are being denied do feel we are entitled to know how this is being accomplished and at what level. Otherwise it meets the definition of "government anarchy" directed by the White House/DOD/VA. The finest citizens this nation has to offer deserve better.
What I found totally NAS/IOM hypocritical in this oversight meeting is Mr. Butler concluded they used some protocols from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Yet, clearly as far back as 1977 the IARC found:
identified 6 out of 7 different populations occupationally exposed to
chlorinated phenolic compounds where neuropsychological symptoms or depressive
syndromes were established (IARC,
IARC noted that PNS damage was also found in the same six dioxin exposed populations, including polyneuropathies, lower extremity weakness, and sensorial impairments (sight, hearing, smell, taste).
In 1986, the IARC clearly restated it’s finding that dioxin had been found to be associated with peripheral neuropathies and personality changes (IARC, 1986).
Yet, the BVA uses the statements made by the medically astute Secretary of the VA and gives more weight to the very questionable NAS/IOM to deny peripheral neuropathies. What the board did not give is the mandated benefit of the doubt demanded by congress which is obviously ignored by the VA and did not even give the established world of medicine doubt that in 33% of the neuropathy cases the causation or as the VA counselor judge and jury so eloquently put it; etiolgy will never be known!
(Board has fact-finding authority to assess the quality of the evidence before it, including the duty to analyze its credibility and probative value, as well as authority to discount the weight and probity of evidence in light of its own inherent characteristics and its relationship to other items of evidence).”
The court you are seeking justice from decides what is relevant and what is not relevant and its evidentiary weight. What kind of justice is this?
Is this not like the Ford Motor Company setting up its own legal court for the Pinto explosions in the 1960's? With Ford appointing the judges and making all the rules of acceptable evidence before the judgment even begins. Like failure to properly protect gas tanks does not constitute the reasons for the Pinto gas tanks exploding upon impact in this court. Next case please!
Once again I ask the congressmen and senators I am copying would you want to be judged by a court like this? I know many companies that lost billions over product liability that would like to have a court like this that they could run like the VA is running our Veterans Court.
Past time the constitutionality of this what the government calls a court was questioned and more and more Veterans "will be speaking out" as they loose their fear of local VA shop reprisals as well as BVA reprisals in on going cases when they realize they cannot win no matter how much evidence they have.
The Nation's Finest do not deserve this form of government treatment.
Rebuttal 4 end
Rebuttal 5 start
Ranch Hand and peer review and the hypocritical NAS/IOM.
During the DC meeting on December 6th it was discussed if the, questionable in my opinion, Ranch Hand study had been peer reviewed.
While sections of it have been published and peer reviewed the charges of crafting for publication and review in my opinion are legitimate charges. Including that some of these were published overseas including the birth defects report.
While the question as to whether it actually has been peer reviewed or at least the redacted study peer reviewed is irrelevant. The NAS/IOM has been using this report since day one as their Gold Standard. While they should have been using the actual transcripts. In fact, the NAS/IOM states that while they have reviewed other peer reviewed studies and are mandated to only review peer reviewed studies; their main focus has been on the Ranch Hand Study. Using this study as a Gold Standard which with all the questions of integrity in this study is questionable on even this perception which was also backed up by charges by the GAO itself in 2000.
This was also noted in the oversight review of 2000 while Mr. Butler of the NAS/IOM played chess with questions and answers, as described by Congressman Shays, as to exactly what information they were using. In other words the NAS/IOM did not want to directly answer questions as to what they were doing.
More recently this game of chess in answering questions was prevalent on September 16th at the Disability Commission meeting. Where as I had presented on the 15th and one of the Commissioners, Commissioner Grady actually took my evidence and read it the night before the NAS/IOM program manager presented his "holier than thou" presentations.
In fact, when Commissioner Grady asked if they used the Ranch Hand report in their analysis the chess match continued. As the NAS/IOM program manager replied that he thought Dr. Stellman had reviewed the Ranch Hand studies. While that in itself may be true as Dr. Stellman stated in the American Legion Magazine that they way you do a study is work with folks not manipulate the findings. There is no doubt Dr. Stellman has reviewed the Ranch Hand reports. The question is in what context did the Stellman review take place. I do not think it is in the context Commissioner Grady was asking.
However, the question was side stepped because obviously the NAS/IOM program manager that made that statement is aware; there is a whole committee of NAS/IOM members that review this information and make decisions that affect the Veterans and their families. Which is what Commissioner Grady's question was made to reveal and address. Instead it was Dr. Stellman of the NAS/IOM that this representative suggested was the sole reviewer of the Ranch Hand reports and by default had little influence in the decision made by the committee. This perception is patently false.
Including what this NAS/IOM guy left out was that the Ranch Hand leaders brief the NAS/IOM committee members in person.
The request for Veterans to come forward and discuss issues was made and I contacted the NAS/IOM that I wanted to present some data since they had requested it. I was informed that I was to be given 15 minutes after I requested at least one hour. The only briefer that got one hour? Guess who? The Ranch Hand folks. So a disabled Veteran is to drive 17 hours at his own expense to present as requested in trying to defend his comrades and is to be given 15 minutes total.
Therefore, the issue of whether the Ranch Hand has been peer reviewed in making these monumental decisions and what I call government tainted decisions is totally irrelevant.
Rebuttal 5 finish
I will do a comparison of what that was in 1989 and what it has been changed to in 2005, which as a cursory look did not look like much had changed. Even if changes were made to some degree there was still some 16 years the Secretary could have done much for us if his boss chose to support him. We need to now think about what the governments chain of command is in "not supporting Veterans" for government/DOD mistakes.