2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Steve@miltoxproj.org
Date: 25 Feb 2002 17:28:04 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Gulf War Veterans
[SENT BY STEVE TAYLOR (Steve@miltoxproj.org)]

>>From the Environmental News Service:


WASHINGTON, DC, February 22, 2002 (ENS) - More than 34,000 Gulf War 
veterans are dying at a rate almost ten times higher than a comparable 
group, despite being told by Pentagon officials they were not exposed to 
chemical agents after Operation Desert Storm. 

In 2000, the Department of Defense (DoD) revised its estimate of the 
dispersion pattern of chemical agent fallout from the demolition of the 
Iraqi chemical weapons depot at Khamisiyah in southern Iraq, which was 
destroyed by U.S. troops in 1991. The DoD first estimated that 99,825 
veterans had been exposed to low levels of the nerve agent sarin after 
the demolition. 

In 2000, DoD remodeled the Khamisiyah plume exposure data. The new model 
excluded 34,418 veterans who had been told they had been in the 
Khamisiyah downwind hazard zone. The agency then added 34,638 other 
Khamisiyah area veterans to the new exposure model, bringing the total 
number of exposed veterans to 100,045. 

In late 2001, the Veterans Benefits Administration's Data Management 
Office (DMO) decided to compare mortality figures between the veterans 
excluded from the new DoD model and the veterans who were added in their 

The mortality numbers released by the Veteran's Administration show that 
of the 34,418 who were excluded from DoD's remodeling of the Khamisiyah 
chemical weapons fallout plume, 1,011 have died, compared to just 105 of 
the 34,638 veterans who were added to the revised Khamisiyah plume model 
in 2000. 

"This pattern in entirely consistent with past practices concerning 
information relating to toxic exposures in Gulf War veterans," said 
Thomas Corey, national president of the Vietnam Veterans of America 
(VVA). "We will request from Attorney General [John] Ashcroft the 
appointment of a special counsel to investigate this and other matters 
related to the Pentagon's conduct in dealing with Gulf War illnesses." 

Since 1995, the Pentagon's Directorate for Deployment Health Support has 
spent more than $150 million on Gulf War related research projects, 
Corey noted. None of these studies have been peer reviewed or otherwise 
subjected to independent scrutiny or the standards of legitimate medical 
science, he charged. 

Corey reiterated VVA's call for the creation of an independent National 
Institute of Veterans Health within the National Institutes of Health 
(NIH) to study veteran's medical problems. 

"We cannot have the agency that created the problem studying the 
problem," Corey said. "An independent institute within NIH that is 
dedicated to studying the full range of health problems affecting 
veterans is the only way to guarantee that we get good science and 
therefore good medical treatment for veterans." 

Steve Taylor
National Organizer
Military Toxics Project
(207) 783-5091 (phone)
(207) 783-5096 (fax)
P.O. Box 558
Lewiston, ME  04243-0558

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