Forced Vaccines Haunt Gulf Vets
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FORCED VACCINES HAUNT GULF VETS
By Elliot Borin
Thursday, November 7, 2002
It was, the doctor at the Long Beach Veteran's Administration Hospital said,
an incidental finding. A little gray smudge on the X-ray, a blob next to the
Six months later, University of California at Los Angeles surgeons worked
six hours to sever a tumor from the brain of a muscular, 25-year-old
ex-Special Forces Ranger and Gulf War veteran. The costly surgery was
performed at UCLA, the patient said, because VA doctors denied that the
"incidental finding" caused his excruciating, unremitting headaches.
He blamed Army-administered drugs for the tumor. And his girlfriend said
there were other "side effects" of his service in the Gulf, including
increased agitation and sperm that "burned."
"We had a third day of shots before we went over (to the Gulf)," said the
ex-Ranger, who requested anonymity because his Army Reserve commitment has
yet to expire. "Guys in other units only had two, but most Rangers had
three. They wouldn't tell us what they were for."
Are this young man and tens of thousands of other veterans suffering from
Gulf War sickness victims of coincidences beyond the Pentagon's control? Or
are they casualties of a government that trampled both the Nuremberg Code
and its own policies against forced medical experimentation?
Ruling in the 1947 trial of 23 Nazi doctors and medical administrators
charged with crimes against humanity during World War II, judges of the
American Tribunal in Nuremberg set forth 10 conditions for permissible
In a February 1953 directive, Defense Secretary Charles Wilson established
what is still the "law of the land" governing such experimentation.
Consistent with the Nuremberg Code, the directive's cornerstone is voluntary
"The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential," Wilson
wrote, ordering that such consent be given in writing before at least one
witness. Wilson also banned use of "force, fraud, deceit, duress,
over-reaching or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion" in obtaining
Did the Pentagon obey this directive during the Gulf War?
According to Dr. Jane M. Orient, executive director of the Association of
American Physicians and Surgeons, it did not.
The administration of experimental drugs without consent was, Orient said,
"the first instance in which an official government agency officially
sanctioned the direct violation of the Nuremberg Code."
In a 1994 report called Human Experimentation and Other Intentional
Exposures Conducted by the Department of Defense, the Senate Committee on
Veterans' Affairs seemed to agree.
"The results of our investigation showed a reckless disregard that shocked
me," said Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV. "The Pentagon ... threw
caution to the winds, ignoring all warnings of potential harm, and gave
these (investigational) drugs to hundreds of thousands of soldiers with
virtually no warnings and no safeguards.
"If that wasn't bad enough, they administered these drugs and vaccines in
such a way that there is a very good chance they wouldn't have even worked
for the intended purpose."
The committee also found that consent was not part of the inoculation
"In a survey of 150 Persian Gulf War veterans ... 15 of 17 receiving
botulinum toxoid were told they could not refuse the vaccination; 54 of 73
receiving pyridostigmine were told they could not refuse," the report
"There is no provision in the Nuremberg Code," the Rockefeller Committee
report concluded, "that allows a country to waive informed consent for
military personnel or veterans who serve as human subjects in experiments
during wartime or in experiments that are conducted because of threat of
Responding to the accusations, a Pentagon spokesperson stated: "In all
peacetime applications, we believe strongly in informed consent and its
ethical foundations.... But military combat is different."
Has the Department of Defense actually obtained the "informed consent" of
all the GIs inoculated with questionable drugs since the end of Operation
Desert Storm? That's another story.
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