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Iraq | Health, Housing, and Public Services

Homeless Disabled Vets May Have Been Exposed to U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare Tests
by Lynda Carson ( lyndacarson [at] excite.com )
Saturday Oct 12th, 2002 2:57 AM
Investigation into the Defense Departments use of chemical and biological warfare tests upon U.S. civilian and military populations picks up speed as the Bush Administration pushes for war against the people of Iraq.
Homeless Disabled Vets May Have Been Exposed to U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare Tests

By Lynda Carson 10/12/02

Oakland, Ca-On Tuesday October 10, 2002 the United States Congress authorized a resolution for President George Bush to wage war against the people of Iraq after the majority of the house members denounced Saddam Hussein for the use of chemical and biological weapons against the people of Iraq. Ironicaly, during that same day Senator Max Cleland chaired a hearing investigation into the use of chemical and biological weapons testing programs by the government of the United States on it's own civilian and military populations.

Declassified documents released to Congress on October 9, 2002 forced the Defense Department to admit that during past decades it used chemical and biological warfare tests on civilian and military populations during military excercises in America. Declassified documents also reveal that lethal agents such as VX and sarin were used in land based tests.

During the October 10 hearing chaired by Senator Max Cleland, testimony by government
officials revealed that thousands of civilians were exposed to the biological tests conducted in Hawaii. Recently declassified documents reveal that some tests were conducted in Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, and Maryland between 1962 through 1971. The tests involving human subjects and animals were held on land and sea during top secret exercises, including Project SHAD which involved 109 naval ships.

An acronym for Shipboard Hazard and Defense, Project SHAD was created in part to develop tests designed as a means to identify attacks involving chemical or biological warfare agents. Experiments were conducted using military troops as guinea pigs while maintaining the capacity to fight a war during such an attack. Test results of the guinea pigs were then used to create new procedures being developed in response to the use of chemical or biological warfare. Until recently the U.S. Government denied the existance of Project SHAD.

Government Officials claim that the veterans involved in the tests were offered the best in protective gear while the secret tests were being conducted. Testimony by veterans at the October 10, hearing investigation chaired by Senator Max Cleland revealed that they (veterans) were not informed about Project SHAD, had not been briefed about the experiments, and were not offered protective gear. George Brocklebank who was stationed aboard the USS Power during Project SHAD states that he and shipmates have numerous symptoms from the experiments, and that while searching for information they learned that their 1965 naval medical records are now missing.

On October 10, 2002 after listening to the testimony of ex-military personel involved in Project SHAD who are now seeking medical assistance for their disabilities, hearing chair person Senator Max Cleland said, it is a sad chapter in history. In a further response to the veterans testimonies detailing the U.S. Government secret tests, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida said that we face problems of concealment, deception, and human guinea pigs.

Estimates of homeless veterans spread across the american landscape amount to nearly
250,000 on any given evening, while other estimates reveal that nearly a third of the adult male homeless population have been in the armed services of America. More estimates reveal that about 45 percent of homeless vets are afflicted by mental illness
and other disabilities. Since many documents remain classified, no estimates are available regarding the past exposure of homeless vets to chemical and biological warfare tests that may have led to their disabilities, hence their fall into homelessness.

The Defense Departments best estimates are that 5,500 veterans were involved in the chemical and biological weapons testing programs of the government of the United States, with 52 registered claims by those with disabilities, and that 299 veterans are on a list of SHAD participants exibiting the same symptoms as those with pending claims. Many of the veterans now have respiratory problems and cancer.

Further testimony at the October 10, hearing revealed that records show 134 tests were scheduled, 62 tests were cancelled, and with certainty 46 tests were conducted. In some cases bomblet delivery systems were used in remote locations of the United States, by the Defense Department. An additional 26 tests may have occured, but remain unknown while some documents still remain classified.

Dr. Michael Kilpatrick and his staff constructed 28 fact sheets out of declassified documents for the Defense Departments press conference held on Wednsday, October 8. The fact sheets were constructed from 5,000 pages of information, and were witheld from public view until the day of the above mentioned press conference.

Many across the nation are convinced that the problems of homeless veterans and their disabilities need to be addressed by the United States Government before any further adventures of warfare are orchestrated by the war criminals of the Defense Department.

For links to Project SHAD click below.

Project SHAD Fact Sheet

http://deploymentlink.osd.mil/current_issues/shad/shad_chart/shad_chart_3.shtml

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