Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Problems with the new DOD website about experiments


Force Health Protection and Readiness

Department of Defense

ATTN: CB Exposure Manager

5113 Leesburg Pike, Suite 901

Falls Church, VA 22041

September 19, 2008

Dear CB Exposure Manager,

I have gone through your CB Exposures Web Site and as a former Edgewood Volunteer I find it troubling and believe the writers were uninformed or deliberately printed misinformation and revisionist fabrications.

In the recent past I sent documents to the DOD proving what I am about to address and I can supply them again if need be. Army “core values” dictate corrections, lest a stain be left on its Honor for not owning up to having crossed the line at Edgewood in the name of National Security.

First I’d like to address an omission: For many years the CBR NCO School at Ft. McClellan placed Mustard agent on the wrists of students, I was one of them, exposing them to GB and CS gas environments and flamethrowers, but there is no mention of that on the site. Mustard is now known to be a carcinogen.

Cold War Exposures background: While Nazi’s were being tried at Nuremberg and some hanged for their human experimentation the U.S. gave the Japanese experimenters a pass [War Crimes Office 1947]. This was in order to obtain their research results on Chinese, Manchurians, and POW experiments which resulted in many deaths. From those Secret documents it can be readily seen that the Cold War was changing our morality.

You state that DOD is conducting extensive research to find names of those exposed. In the case of 7,839, 1951-1979 Army volunteers, their records were in the hands of the Office of the Surgeon General from 1979 [USAMRICD 2007]. The Edgewood Volunteers 1955-1975 were included in those files. In addition Edgewood Arsenal had the volunteer’s names and all their personal information. They supplied their data bank containing that information to the CIA. [CIA IG report, 6 May 1974] “The following activities were conducted with the Edgewood Arsenal. We obtained a large data base from them. They supplied U.S. Army volunteers for testing our candidate compounds. We transferred funds to them for their efforts.”

[CIA Memorandum 3 May, 1974] “I asked about the listings of peoples names. He said it was a stack a foot high. Names would cross check to their Edgewood ID number.” Among the “other organizations” you mentioned being at Edgewood you failed to mention the CIA and that the Army was a CIA contractor. During the 1977 Senate Hearings CIA’s Admiral Turner promised the Congress that he would find those who were subjects of their unwitting experimentation directly or by funding same. He stated that the agency would aid and compensate victims and the Edgewood Veterans were certainly victims under projects MKULTRA and MKSEARCH. In 2004 he wrote that the agency only found one person, but that he was dead.

The National Academy of Sciences received Volunteer’s information from the Army for a study conducted by its National Research Council, a CIA contractor whose heads were involved in the original research at Edgewood. You point to these studies as Army redemption, as though no one was hurt. You neglected to include important issues say drugs, and you did not mention the final NRC report in 1985 which stated: “An issue of great concern was the relatively small groups of men exposed to psychochemicals and their effects on interpretability. Briefly stated, it was felt at the onset by the panel reviewing psychochemicals that data obtainable from a survey might add little to our understanding of the long term health effects of chemicals tested. However, the limited information available from follow-up on these soldiers does not permit definitive conclusions regarding the nature and extent of possible long-term problems resulting from chemical exposure at Edgewood .” These studies are over two decades old and are virtually irrelevant. For example; today the DOD admits that flashbacks can re-occur in the absence of re-exposure to drugs.

The original case files on Edgewood Volunteers were transferred to the National Archives in Suitland , MD in 1982. [GAO, 1994] Veterans Disability: “The Army’s Medical Research and Development Command in Ft. Detrick , MD , has the names and service numbers of all test participants and a list of chemicals to which the service members were exposed.” NAS supplied our contact information to its IOM in 2000 for another purported study on Edgewood volunteers.

[IOM 2007] “DOD asked IOM to perform a more focused study on long term effects of anticholinesterase agents given to participants.” The IOM committee was not charged with examining past exposures to specific chemicals, like those at Aberdeen/Edgewood and assessing whether they caused disabilities in military personnel.” Edgewood veterans thought this study was to help them, but it is obvious now that this was a Gulf War issue and we were deceptively recruited for it.

Many agencies and commands had the volunteer’s information and the DOD wrongfully resisted releasing our names for decades. It was two Congressmen [Evans & Strickland] who somehow obtained the lists of our names sending them directly to the VA for notification in 2005. The VA Secretary [Nicholson] sent the lists to the DHSD DOD and asked them to find addresses. He was alerted by some of us that the current contact addresses of some 4,000 survivors were in the hands of the IOM.

DOD Experimentation, according to your site, was conducted to evaluate the ability of US Forces to fight on a Chemical and Biological battlefield. You also state that the purpose of the studies was to ensure that the U.S. Military could adequately protect its service members from possible wartime exposures to chemical warfare agents. You describe medicines tested and mention benadryl. There were others including ecstasy EA 1475, radioactive alcohol, Ritalin, Benzedrine, Dexedrine, Lydocaine and Mescaline which Edgewood doctors used to kill Harold Blauer.

[AR 70-25 1962] DA-Use of Medical Volunteers: 2. c. The experiment must be such as to contribute significantly to approved research and have reasonable prospects of yielding militarily important results essential to an Army research program. There is little doubt that this AR was not faithfully observed or followed because these substances did not have any military importance. We allege that it is likely that these compounds had importance to covert CIA operations and that testing humans had great importance to the manufacturers of the drugs who likely paid Edgewood for our services.

In 1993 the Director of Defense Research and Engineering, in response to [GAO Report, 1992] “Human Experimentation” stated: The DOD will, to the extent feasible, make available to the Department of Veterans Affairs information that may be useful in assessing disability claims of veterans. The DOD did nothing for Edgewood Volunteers.

Regarding the security non-disclosures we signed: According to your site in 1993 Deputy Secretary of the DOD issued a memorandum which never reached those for whom it was intended, the volunteers. He stated that volunteers were released from their oath, but in sharp contrast to this memo, in 2006, the VA sent us a letter;

“To former service members who participated in these tests DOD has stated: You may provide details that affect your health to your health care provider. On the other hand, you should not discuss anything that relates to operational information that might reveal chemical warfare vulnerabilities or capabilities.” It would appear that DOD attempted to continue to perpetrate a hoax on volunteers in league with the VA. You see, we did not have copies of the non-disclosures [ US Senate report 1977] which stated that the penalty for violating our oath was punishment under UCMJ, but that Code only applies to active duty personnel. Our oath wrongly, but effectively, kept us out of the VA, and from making applications for medals many of us were promised. Men of Honor, Edgewood Volunteers were silent all those years for naught.

You state that testing was conducted with the volunteers consent and that Volunteers were given study information. This cavalierly implies that we volunteered so we got what we deserved. [U.S. Army IG Report page 84, 1975]

“… most cases the agreement was signed prior to arrival or the first day after arrival. In either case, it was usually signed before a subject was selected for a specific test. Therefore, it was unlikely that meaningful information regarding all hazards to his health were provided the Volunteer prior to his signing the Participation Agreement.” The only known volunteers to have ever received a volunteer information booklet were those participating in 1969. The Participation Agreements included the statement “I am completely aware of all hazards.” The Volunteer’s letters of Commendation stated [DA HQ Edgewood Arsenal 1973]

“… medical volunteer, you deliberately made a commitment to undergo procedures whose outcome could not be fully known in advance.” Obvious it is, the “consents” were nugatory the moment they were signed as is ratified by Edgewood itself.

[GAO Veterans Disability, 1993] “Military procedures have long required that volunteers be fully informed of the nature of the studies in which they participate and the foreseeable risks. However, prior to 1975, these procedures were not always followed.” “ … were not informed about the nature of the experiments, the chemicals to be administered, or potential adverse effects.” Experimentation ended in 1975. The Army IG and the GAO seem to agree that our consents were a sham.

Often you point to “low dose” exposures to somehow exonerate illegal experiments, and the unethical experimenters, who routinely violated their Hippocratic Oath’s.

I am citing only one of my references on dosage. [Army LSD Study, 1980] “The highest single dose known to have been administered to Army Volunteers was approximately 5,250 micrograms. As of 1971 only eight cases have been reported in which seizures have apparently resulted from LSD administration.” You state that the study investigators assured the participants that the exposure levels administered would not result in serious or life threatening side effects, but you reveal that there were 400 substances and that “not all” were harmful and you show “14%” of the agents administered “were lethal” compounds. It would appear that you do not consider seizures serious or lethal compounds lethal.

As a sidebar, note that you erroneously stated IOM, but it was the NRC three volume studies 1980-1982.

Your page of Briefings and Reports does not contain important documents such as the [Army IG Report, 1975] which informs that most procedures and regulations were virtually ignored at Edgewood, nor have you considered the [GAO 1994] report which reveals that there were VOLUNTEER DEATHS at Edgewood and that long term effects to exposures often did not present for 20-30 years and more.

Finally, please note the findings published in the [Psychiatric Annals, November 2007]. Chemical Weapons Exposure: “Interestingly, PTSD rates among veterans who participated in voluntary Chemical Weapons Agents research under controlled conditions, and never were exposed to hostile enemy fire, were found to be higher than PTSD rates for veterans who participated in actual combat, in which the physical wounds inflicted were far more severe. Thus, the psychological trauma of CWA exposure is tantamount to the most intense and traumatizing types of stress found anywhere in human experience.” Apparently the DOD is in denial, because I am acquainted with Edgewood veterans who are PTSD VA compensated and the acknowledged cause was Edgewood .

You state that there was other testing at Edgewood outside the auspices of the Volunteer program. This testing, you suggest, was conducted by various organizations. Why is it you are reluctant to name the CIA, FBN and Army Intelligence? Evidence proves that the CIA funded Army programs at Edgewood for twenty years and the evidence [CIA Family Jewels pg. 413] shows clearly that the CIA supplied drugs to Edgewood given them by manufacturers because they had bad side effects [CIA MORI DOC 1451843]. Pharmaceutical manufacturers gave drugs to the CIA and they delivered them to Edgewood specifically for use on military volunteers and that was despite having themselves written that “No US citizen should be the object of CIA operations.” Obviously volunteers were not informed of these efforts therefore; the Army wrongfully condoned unwitting experimentation along with uninformed witting experimentation.

In 1956 Edgewood changed the name of its psychochemical program to K agents. CIA MKULTRA 1958, Sub-Project-45 in the psychochemical and “K” fields dealt with chemical stressor drugs. “ … the major effort will be related to studies directly concerned with the production and control of the stress reaction in human beings.” In 2005 the Army HRC Awards Branch admitted that an Edgewood Volunteer applicant was in the Edgewood MKULTRA Program. In 1973 contrary to law the CIA destroyed what they thought were all the MKULTRA and the drug files.

The big lie! [Chemical Warfare Laboratories Special Publication 2-13, 1958]. Stated therein: Volunteers would be subjected to “non-hazardous” exposures therefore, it follows that they would not receive hazardous duty pay saving the Army some $55.00 per month, per man. However, Edgewood experimentation was hazardous and similarly stressful to combat therefore, combat related as is noted in

the Supplemental Guidance on Combat Related Special Compensation, established by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense 2008. Edgewood Volunteers meet criteria under Hazardous Service and Instrumentality of War. The DOD knew our service was hazardous [Defense Instruction Number 5030.29, 1964] Investigational Use of Drugs: “DOD assumes full responsibility for the protection of humans involved in research under its sponsorship, whether this involves investigational drugs or other hazards.” The Army at large also knew what we were doing was hazardous.

[AR 70-25 1962] DA-Use of Volunteers as Subjects of Research

2. Definition: “ … unusual and potentially hazardous conditions are those which may be reasonably expected to involve risk, beyond the normal call of duty, of privation, discomfort, distress, pain, damage to health, bodily harm, physical injury, or death.” All the latter came to pass. Of twenty-two survivors known to me half, including myself, are VA disabled and therefore, fully know now, that this service was hazardous and that we were all set apart from our fellows psychologically.

1958 Letter of Commendation to Volunteer: “3. You are hereby commended for exposing yourself above and beyond the call of duty.” Cover letter: “The participation of military personnel in these activities contributes materially to the accomplishment of work which is vital to the National Defense.”

[CDRL Special Publication, Edgewood Arsenal, 1961] Medical Research Volunteers, Peacetime Heroes: “ .. they serve far beyond the call of normal duty in a cause that vitally effects the nation’s defense posture.

We were patriotic young men wanting to do something for our country. However, because of those like you, who lack documentation, or do not possess a full understanding of the history in this matter, our services to this nation are denigrated. Rather than to reveal the truth and give just praise to the volunteers you are history revisionists portraying that which you wish had happened at Edgewood . Joining you, just recently the Army HRC Awards Branch denied Volunteers even a lowly ARCOM [HRC Award Branch 2005] “ … service as a CW Volunteer at Edgewood is certainly NOTEWORTY, he is not eligible for consideration of an individual award since the purpose and intent of the Army’s Awards Program is to recognize those soldiers who actively engage in acts of heroism, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service.” Like you, they do not understand. Otherwise moral men with bunker mentalities assault the dignity of yesterday’s heroes. We can no longer allow such actions to stand because we know that somewhere, yet to be found, there is a grateful nation.

I expect a satisfactory response to this return receipt sent letter within seven days of receipt or it will be c.c. addressed along with the documents to many officials who may not see this as nearsightedly as you do.

In the 2003 VA VHI CBR, they admitted that we Edgewood Volunteers were justifiably angry men. If you have seen that in this letter hopefully you have been convinced to understand and accept it, because we have good reason to be hurt and therefore, angry.

Sincerely Yours,


If ANYONE has more data about the experiments or knows anything about the problems with the VA or DOD in handling their compensation claims please let me know at testvet at

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