Skip to comments.Lawmakers Want Information On Use Of Nerve Gas In '60s
Posted on 06/19/2002 1:06:31 PM PDT by TheSentry
Lawmakers want information on use of nerve gas in '60s *
By David Goldstein, The Kansas City Star *
WASHINGTON - Two members of Congress intend to call for an investigation into the secret testing of nerve gas and chemical and biological agents on U.S. servicemen in the 1960s. *
Rep. Mike Thompson of California and Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, both Democrats, plan to introduce legislation in their respective chambers next week, urging that the Pentagon reveal more information about the tests, known as Project SHAD. *
"If it's classified, we can deal with classified material," said Nelson, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "We do all the time. We will get the information. I just hope it doesn't get to the point where I have to subpoena it." *
Meanwhile, the secretary of veterans affairs, Anthony Principi, urged Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to declassify more of the tests "as quickly as possible." *
In a letter this week, Principi asked Rumsfeld to provide the Department of Veterans Affairs with information about the substances used and the names of the servicemen who participated. *
"VA has an obligation with outreach to our nation's veterans who may have participated in Project SHAD to ensure their concerns are addressed," Principi wrote.
Veterans who participated in SHAD have become concerned recently over possible adverse health effects.
Some appear to share similar ailments, such as cancer, and respiratory and cardiac problems. *
The slow pace of declassification has made it difficult for the VA to determine whether any are eligible for medical benefits. Based on the declassification of a dozen tests so far, the VA sent letters to 622 veterans last month informing them of "possible risks" to their health. The Pentagon has said that it has been able to substantiate that 34 tests overall took place involving 4,000 servicemen. *
Principi's letter to Rumsfeld echoes a similar letter Thursday from the Vietnam Veterans of America, which has been helping SHAD veterans.
It also follows earlier requests from Thompson and Nelson urging Rumsfeld to speed up the declassification.
Eleven other members of Congress signed the request from Thompson. *
SHAD, which stands for Shipboard Hazard And Defense, was a series of secret military tests at sea between 1963 and 1969. *
Using airplanes or other means, the military sprayed ships with various toxins, including the lethal nerve gases Sarin and VX, along with biological and chemical agents, to test the vulnerability of the ships.
It also wanted to test the protective equipment and cleanup procedures. In addition, the tests involved substances that the military believed at the time to be harmless.
But evidence now shows that some could be harmful. *
The military has stated that servicemen were told to take precautions and issued safety equipment, and in tests involving biological agents, given inoculations.
But some veterans have said they never got protective equipment and were told little about the actual nature of the tests. *
Thompson aide Mandy Kenney said that the SHAD legislation would set out procedures - and possibly create an advisory council - to help the Pentagon move more quickly on releasing information. "It would make it clear that people are aware of this now and really want to see it done," Kenney said. *
To all reading this posted article:
Please go to www.gulfwarvets.com and read the data; find out what your Gov't. is doing to veterans and to you with experiments.
THEN...Take some action !
Support the current investigation !
Write your U.S.Representative demanding the truth (..click here..enter zip code..)and an END to the Dept. of Defense experiments on our troops.
TheSentry,USAF Vietnam Veteran
Sorry. If this was a GOP led inquiry, I'd be more supportive.
Unfortunately, the Democrats have destroyed their own credibility in this area.
It may be a superficially harsh and non-objective way to view this issue,
but I have absolutely no faith in the motives of any Democrat with respect to our national security or veterans.
Sorry. If this was a GOP led inquiry, I'd be more supportive. Unfortunately, the Democrats have destroyed their own credibility in this area. It may be a superficially harsh and non-objective way to view this issue, but I have absolutely no faith in the motives of any Democrat with respect to our national security or veterans.
I don't believe you.
Abortin's a GOP policy and no one around here seems terribly inclined to support that. Is it just because the GOP let's the Democrats take the issue and run with it?
Seems like all older people I know suffer from cancer, respiratory and cardiac ailments.
Try to spell correctly and use punctuation while you are trashing/ranting.
Also, you don't know a damn thing about my personal position on abortion, do you?
Abortion is the correct spelling not Abortin's.
Lay off of whatever you are on before you post and rant!
My apologies. Perhaps you too realize it's vital to the solution of population control ... as does the GOP who made it US policy.
I certainly should be more careful about typos. Sorry about that.
Probably not a lot I can do about the fact I speak over the heads of the "If the Dems are for it, then I'm agin' it" crowd. Believe me, it bothers me more than you.
Johnston Island has been the nerve gas testing site since we stopped atmospheric testing of Nukes.
After one of the Thor missiles blew up on the pad with a live warhead throwing PU239 everywhere, I guess they figured a little Nerve Gas wouldn't make it any worse.