Thursday, October 16, 2014

U.S. Military Denied Treatment To Soldiers Exposed To Chemical Weapons In Iraq

A detailed New York Times scoop raises troubling questions about secrecy and responsibility in the U.S. government:  NOW, HEADS WILL ROLL  

By Dan Murphy

The New York Times's C.J. Chivers has dropped a bombshell of a scoop that details 17 US troops and seven Iraqi policemen who were exposed to old chemical weapons in Iraq, some of whom were declined appropriate medical care and service awards on the grounds of secrecy.

U.S. military personnel uncovering chemical munitions
If Mr. Chivers' reporting holds up – and there's little reason to doubt his deeply-reported piece – this is a scandal that eclipses long waits and poor funding at VA hospitals in the US. Sure, far fewer people were affected by exposure to mustard agents or sarin in Iraq, but these allegations represent enormous callousness and a direct breach of trust with soldiers.

The problems at the VA were systemic, and came at a time when a surge of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan were entering the system. 

Yes, it's a vast bureaucracy, relying on out-dated technology and without the kind of financial backing from Congress you'd expect after listening to their Veterans Day speeches about "supporting the troops." But, no one was deliberately setting out to deny warriors care.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld will now be held accountable
That's the central issue in Chivers' piece, which is hard to read in full without mounting anger. But the following four paragraphs contain the nut of the scandal here, as I see it:

"The U.S. government withheld word about its discoveries even from troops it sent into harm’s way and from military doctors. The government’s secrecy, victims and participants said, prevented troops in some of the war’s most dangerous jobs from receiving proper medical care and official recognition.

“I felt more like a guinea pig than a wounded soldier,” said a former Army sergeant who suffered mustard burns in 2007 and was denied hospital treatment and medical evacuation to the United States despite requests from his commander.

Congress, too, was only partly informed, while troops and officers were instructed to be silent or give deceptive accounts of what they had found. “ 'Nothing of significance’ is what I was ordered to say,” said Jarrod Lampier, a recently retired Army major who was present for the largest chemical weapons discovery of the war: more than 2,400 nerve-agent rockets unearthed in 2006 at a former Republican Guard compound.

Jarrod L. Taylor, a former Army sergeant on hand for the destruction of mustard shells that burned two soldiers in his infantry company, joked of “wounds that never happened” from “that stuff that didn’t exist.” The public, he said, was misled for a decade. “I love it when I hear, ‘Oh there weren’t any chemical weapons in Iraq,’” he said. “There were plenty.”

Uncovered munitions
That chemical weapons from before the first Gulf War remained in Iraq was an operating assumption at the time the US invaded the country in 2003 and was established fact by the end of that year. But, while the US made the search for evidence of ongoing chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons programs a priority (it failed to find any), disposing of whatever they did find apparently was not. In the first year of the US-led war, the military didn't have the manpower to secure all of the hundreds of conventional weapons bunkers that littered the country. The shells, RPGs, and rifles that were looted from these bunkers were put to use by the then-growing Iraqi insurgency to attack both foreign soldiers and the new government in Baghdad.

Chivers' story details how as late as 2008, US soldiers were involved in the secret destruction of chemical weapons in ways that violate the protocols set out in the United Nations's Convention on Chemical Weapons. The lax US approach appears to have led to the exposure of the soldiers – and it left behind an unknown quantity of old chemical weapons, some possibly in the hands of anti-government insurgents like the so-called Islamic State. The US knew it was leaving old chemical weapons behind when soldiers withdrew from the country at the end of 2011. Neither the Bush nor the Obama administrations had ever made their destruction a priority. 

Bushite filth, propaganda minister Rove responsible for coverup
Much of the reaction to the story has missed the central point, distracted by partisan finger pointing. Fox News predictably frames the story as "There were chemical weapons in Iraq after all." No. This is not news – and the possible existence of old sarin and mustard agent shells inside the country was not the reason that the Bush administration presented for going to war. 

Folks on the left have focused on the fact that these old chemical weapons were US "designed." That isn't really news either (nor that the US was notably silentabout Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war).

The story is an enormous breach of trust between the US and its own soldiers. It starts with the officers and the members of the Bush administration involved, whose names the story doesn't give.

An officer who I'm friendly with on Twitter launched a rant about the story(most of which I can't share since he uses salty language) that captures the mood of many veterans. Some shareable highlights: "But again, make no mistake: the information started with and was controlled by DoD [The Department of Defense]. A complete break in faith with service members... Clearly, I'm livid about this. I wonder (oh, how I wonder) when (IF) Congress will start hunting heads on this... I have never been in a position to question the loyalty of soldiers beneath me. But I've had myriad reasons to doubt that of my 'leaders.'"

The question "why" screams out from this story, but isn't really answered. Maj. (Ret.) Lampier shared a theory with Chivers that doesn't really make sense to me.

The time is NOW for a complete investigation, indictments, war crimes trials for the Bush war criminals

Participants in the chemical weapons discoveries said the US suppressed knowledge of finds for multiple reasons, including that the government bristled at further acknowledgment it had been wrong. “They needed something to say that after Sept. 11 Saddam used chemical rounds,” Lampier said. “And all of this was from the pre-1991 era.”

I'm not sure how hiding the presence of old chemical weapons helped bolster a case that Saddam had newer chemical weapons, or that he'd used them recently. Nor am I persuaded by the suggestion that the US was "embarrassed" over the role of American companies in designing many of these old weapons. That has been public knowledge for almost 15 years.

My guess is that the source of the secrecy was how inadequately funded and resourced US ordinance disposal efforts were in Iraq, particularly around chemical weapons, which US leaders frequently speak of as one of the great scourges of the modern age. The simple fact that as late as 2008 US troops were being exposed to mustard agents – the lead anecdote in Chivers' article – is troubling evidence of failure to take the issue seriously.

The original US invasion force was woefully inadequate to America's ambitious plans for Iraq, and the failure to secure weapons coupled with the disastrous decision in 2003 to fire the entire Iraqi Army, set the insurgency well on its way. Part of that insurgency has since morphed into the Islamic State, which US warplanes are battling inside Syria and Iraq. 

But whatever the thinking was behind the decisions to cover this stuff up, it's hard to see any justification. Another anecdote in Chivers' story tells of a group of soldiers exposed to mustard agent, the blistering chemical sometimes called "mustard gas."

All the while secrecy prevailed. The military determined the soldiers had been burned by an M110 shell. Both victims said word of their exposure was purposefully squelched.

“We were absolutely told not to talk about it” by a colonel, the former sergeant said. The order, he added, included prohibitions against mentioning mustard agent when writing home.

The secrecy was so extensive that Dr. Dave Edmond Lounsbury, a former Army colonel, said he suspected officials hid the cases even from him and two other Army doctors assigned to prepare an official textbook on treating battlefield wounds, including those related to chemical warfare.

Lets hope that sunlight proves its value as a disinfectant this time.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

U.S. Found Own Chemical Weapons In Iraq

Our military personnel were exposed to these munitions and it apparently was covered up by the Bush/Cheney criminals, the evidence now points to the reason being that they were of U.S. manufacture; if true this is an irrevocable, egregious crime against our servicemen and women and those responsible will be brought to justice one way or the other - the VA is now responsible for their treatment and brand-new, high-end hospitals must be built nationwide and staffed with the best equipment and finest doctors available for their care       


The only chemical weapons US forces found in Iraq between 2004 and 2011 were “designed in the United States” and “manufactured in Europe,” according to a new revealing report.

Rumsfeld kissing ass on Saddam
American and Iraqi troops found, and in multiple cases, were injured by aged and degraded stockpiles of chemical weapons in Iraq, a New York Times investigation, published late Tuesday, has found.

However, the report said, the US withheld information about the discoveries as those weapons were manufactured in the 1980s when the US and its allies were actively supplying chemical agents to Saddam Hussein’s regime during the Iraq-Iran war.

American soldiers discovered more than 4,990 chemical warheads, shells, or aviation bombs in the years following the invasion. 

Fox News attempts to sanitise Bush and Rove, are just as guilty
Seventeen American soldiers and seven Iraqi police officers were exposed to nerve or mustard agents while searching for chemical weapons.

The administration of former US president George W. Bush insisted that Iraq had a clandestine chemical weapons program in defiance of international law, a claim employed to justify the 2003 invasion of the oil-rich Middle Eastern country.

Former US soldiers, who took part in the disposal of the old weapons, told the Times that the Bush administration covered up both their existence and the fact that US service members were exposed because the US was largely responsible for Iraq having chemical weapons in the first place.

Bush, Cheney and Rice will be tried for war crimes - mass murder has no statute of limitations - and if they are found responsible for the chemical poisoning of our military personnel in Iraq will be held fully responsible and accountable regardless of how long it takes to bring them to justice

“The discoveries of these chemical weapons did not support the government’s invasion rationale,” the Times reported.

“In case after case, participants said, analysis of these warheads and shells reaffirmed intelligence failures. First, the American government did not find what it had been looking for at the war’s outset, then it failed to prepare its troops and medical corps for the aged weapons it did find,” it said.

The investigation also said that some of those US-manufactured chemical weapons were now likely in the hands of ISIL terrorists.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Ebola Nurse Got CDC O.K. For Cleveland Trip

Now CDC says nurse should not have flown - this demonstrates that the Obama criminals, CDC and "mainstream media" not only intend to confuse, obfuscate and deny responsibility in addition to protecting the airlines that are just as complicit, they are purposely keeping Americans in the dark regarding the spread of this virus      

By Jordan Armstrong, Tanya Eiserer, Marjorie Owens and Walt Zwirko

Nation's top doctor says Amber Vinson should not have been allowed to travel on a commercial flight


The second Dallas nurse diagnosed with Ebola shouldn't have traveled on a commercial flight due to her exposure to the virus prior to her diagnosis, said Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But the CDC has now confirmed that it gave Amber Vinson permission to make a trip to Cleveland.

Vinson, 29, was identified by a family member as the nurse diagnosed with the virus. Like 26-year-old Nina Pham, who was diagnosed before her, Vinson was among those who had frequent contact with Duncan during his treatment at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

Frieden called the first days of Duncan's diagnosis and isolation at the hospital the highest risk moments. He pinpointed those days between October 28 through October 30.

"These two health care workers both worked on those days and both had extensive contact with the patient when the patient had extensive production of bodily fluids because of vomiting and diarrhea," he said.

Officials say Vinson was a passenger on Frontier Airlines Flight 1143, which flew from Cleveland, Ohio to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Monday — the day before she was admitted into the hospital. At a news conference in Cleveland, officials said Vinson made the trip north to prepare for her upcoming wedding and visit with her mother.

Frieden should be fired, prosecuted for murder
However, because of her exposure to the virus, Vinson shouldn't have traveled on the commercial flight, the CDC director said on Wednesday. Frieden revealed the nurse registered a low-grade fever of 99.5 degrees before she boarded the plane.

It was later confirmed that the CDC gave Vinson permission to get on the plane because she was showing no other symptoms of the virus, and her temperature didn't reach the threshold of 100.4 degrees.

"She wasn't bleeding or vomiting," Frieden said. "The level of risk around her would be extremely low, but because of the extra margin of safety, we will be contacting [all those who were on the flight]."

The CDC announced during a teleconference Wednesday afternoon that Vinson was stable would be moved to a critical care facility at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

An ambulance left Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday afternoon to take Vinson to a waiting medical evacuation jet at Dallas Love Field.

"She's a fine young lady, educated," said Martha Shuler, whose son was previously married to Vinson. "She's a good girl."

Texas hospital in chaos, nurses threatening to strike, walk off the job

The 80-year-old woman was the family member who identified Vinson as the third person to be diagnosed within the United States and the second to have contracted the disease in the country.

Shuler said her son was very upset to hear that Vinson had contracted Ebola. She said that even though they were divorced, Vinson and her son had remained in contact.

She said her son spoke to Vinson's mother after the diagnosis.

Lory Harris has known Vinson since childhood. Her daughter grew up with Vinson and they attended the same church. She said Vinson's mom told her several months ago that she was engaged to be married.

"All I know is she's a sweetheart," Harris said. "That's how I remember Amber, as sweetheart."

Frieden said they have identified three contacts close to Vinson who will now join others under health monitoring.

Obama, White House criminals benefit across the board as the scandals of IRSGate, VAGate, NSAGate, Secret Service Gate and a long list of others dissapear from the headlines 

As a precaution, the CDC is contacting all 132 passengers on that flight, which landed around 8:16 p.m.. They have asked passengers to call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

Frontier Airlines says the plane stayed at D/FW Airport overnight, and has since been cleaned. It traveled to Cleveland on Tuesday and was cleaned again. The airline says Vinson traveled to Ohio from North Texas on Flight 1142 on Oct. 10.

"Our information is completely clear and accurate…" - Frieden

"The safety and security of our customers and employees is our primary concern. Frontier will continue to work closely with CDC and other governmental agencies to ensure proper protocols and procedures are being followed," the airline said in a press release.

Wednesday morning, Mayor Mike Rawlings confirmed that Vinson lives alone without pets at The Green in the Village Apartments, in the 6000 block of Village Bend near Skillman, just north of Lovers Lane.

Police and Dallas Fire-Rescue teams were at the complex early Wednesday, cleaning common areas and knocking on doors, communicating with neighbors. Reverse 911 calls were sent out at 6:15 a.m. to people who live in the area.

"We rallied together and we decided that we needed to move quickly like we did Sunday morning," Mayor Rawlings said.

He added that the state has hired a company to come in Wednesday afternoon and clean Vinson's apartment and car.

Like Pham, Vinson had also been involved in caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died of Ebola one week ago at Presbyterian. More than 70 hospital employees had been involved in that effort and are still being monitored.

Airlines responsible for spreading Ebola in bid to avoid bankruptcy; the best way to avoid exposure now is to AVOID FLYING

Officials said Vinson reported a fever on Tuesday and was immediately isolated at the hospital in the morning. The Ebola diagnosis was made late Tuesday by testing at a state laboratory in Austin. A separate test was being administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and was expected to confirm the Texas test.

During Wednesday's news conference, Frieden said health officials continue to investigate ways to improve the safe treatment of Ebola patients. Frieden said when CDC workers first arrived to Texas Health Presbyterian that health care employers were using a variety of protective gear and in different ways.

If you believe the CDC, Obama, MSM and the airlines then Bill Gates has an Ebola vaccine just for you

"We noted that some health care workers were putting on three to four layers of protective equipment in the belied that this would be more protective," he said. "... These are good, dedicated people who are worried about themselves and their families. They were trying to protect themselves better. But, in fact, by putting on more layers of gloves or other protective clothing, it becomes much harder to put them on; it becomes much harder to take them off."

As for the condition of the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola, Presbyterian Hospital said Tuesday that Pham's condition has improved to "good." Her dog, who had been moved to an undisclosed location, is also doing well.

Health care officials had signaled that additional cases of Ebola were to be expected in the wake of Thomas Duncan's death, and Dallas County Health and Human Services director Zachary Thompson reiterated that position in an interview on News 8 Daybreak Wednesday.

"I've got to remind Dallas County residents: Let's not get into the fear factor and panic," he said. "It should be contained within the health care workers, and hopefully we don't see any more cases, but don't be surprised."

Mayor Rawlings said during a press conference that he hopes to minimize rumors and maximize facts.

"The only way we are going to beat this is person by person, moment by moment, detail by detail," he said.

He added that city leaders are not fearful and that there is hope if we do what is right and take care.

"It may get worse before it gets better, but it will get better," he said.

The CDC issued a reminder Wednesday that the Ebola virus is known only to spread via direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, or exposure to objects like needles that have been contaminated. The illness has an average 8-10 day incubation period, although it can range from 2 to 21 days.

People are not contagious during the incubation period before symptoms appear.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Wednesday that the 48 people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan outside the hospital are still healthy without symptoms of Ebola. Their incubation period for being monitored for symptoms ends on Sunday.

"This is not gonna be a situation where we're gonna put protective orders on 75 health care workers. The system right now is working," he said.

The workers are being provided another place to stay, away from their families, while they are in the incubation period.

Executive President of Texas Health Resources Dr. Daniel Varga said Wednesday that the hospital has an isolation unit set up which can handle up to three patients. A new area has also been opened to screen patients for Ebola.

"No one wants to get this right more than our hospital," Varga said.

Texas Governor Rick Perry released the following statement on Wednesday upon the news of Vinson's diagnosis.

"The diagnosis of a second health care worker in Dallas reaffirms what a formidable foe this virus is.

I am in daily contact with Dr. Brett Giroir and Dr. David Lakey and earlier today spoke with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to ensure state and federal management of this issue is tightly coordinated.

This is the first time that our nation has had to deal with a threat such as this. Everyone working on this challenge – from the medical professionals at the bedside to the public health officials addressing containment of the infection – is working to end the threat posed by this disease. These individuals are keeping the health and safety of Texans and the needs of the patients as their most critical tasks. Every relevant agency at the local, state and national levels is working to support these individuals.

I have great faith that we will succeed in this important mission; once we have put it behind us we will be the stronger for it and more prepared to meet the kinds of challenges that we as Americans are uniquely prepared to face."

Gov. Perry's Task Force on Infection Disease Preparedness and Response will meet on Wednesday to discuss improving Texas' response and treatment of Ebola.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



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