2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 2000 13:42:40 -0500 (EST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] PR, the real priority
[This message was posted by Dan Mulqueen, Dmulqn@aol.com]

Dear Editor, 
Gen. Coburn [Dec 5] has misstated the facts in his attempt to calm the 
public concerns about the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Instead of providing 
more information or even an explanation for the surprising discovery of 
deadly Sarin, he makes a flag-draped appeal for more blind trust from 
the community.

Every official statement from the Arsenal since the first nerve agent 
bomb was found Oct. 16, has been designed to minimize the danger, 
sometimes to the point of absurdity.  Public relations seems to be a 
greater priority than public safety for the Army. 

It was only hardball negotiation by the State of Colorado which 
prevented the Army from recklessly exploding the first bomb, in the open 
air, within a few feet of other bombs which had not even been 
discovered.  It was also the State which has provided the information on 
up-to-date technologies to deal with these bombs while the Arsenal only 
proposed and tested a ToughShed. 

The Army and Shell Oil have continually refused to provide documentation 
to citizen members of the advisory board to support their claim that the 
Arsenal is safe for visitors.  Last year, when 10 citizen members 
requested that meetings be held off-site until that data was available, 
the Army changed their rules to require the public to meet on the 
Superfund site. Members of the public who had serious concerns about 
their safety, were then dismissed from the advisory board due to 
absence.  An accidental discovery has proven that these concerns were 
well founded, but this important public input has been deliberately 

Gen. Coburn may not know that the Arsenal lawyers are seeking to reduce 
State water quality standards to allow more pollution to leave the site, 
but he should know better than to try to assure us that these weapons 
have never been used. In fact the Army used Sarin weapons in SE Asia 
during Operation Tailwind, and most of us know that nerve agent has 
harmed our own troops as well as others around the world.  It is fantasy 
not to know that people here in Colorado have been injured or perhaps 
killed because of production, disposal or accidents with this stuff. 

The Army no longer has our blind trust due to their own actions.  When 
the issues of health problems of our Gulf War Vets are respectfully 
addressed, and the real extent of the hazard at the Arsenal is admitted, 
our confidence may be deserved. 

Dan Mulqueen 
Site Specific Advisory Board 

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