GI Special:



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Reporting 02-14-05


From: ArchAngel1BL@aol.com

To: GI Special

Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 1:40 PM

Subject: ArchAngel reports



ArchAngel is reporting an update on an IRR Soldier whom we have mentioned in our first article, and we are also reporting a new IRR Soldier who has requested our help.



First the update on IRR Spc. Ronald Pennington.


In case anyone has forgotten, Pennington has received a mail-gram informing him that he has to report back for duty.  He has sent in a request for an appeal, but according to the Army HRC it was not approved on 10 Nov.  According to a WO1 officer from HRC - Alexandria, his case was decided by the board for these reasons:


    1. Financial/bankruptcy is not grounds for exemption.

    2. He does not have custody of his children.

    3. His medical problems must be reviewed at the mobilization site.


According to Pennington, he is having serious financial problems that will be getting worse because the company he will be working for is going out of business, he is going through a divorce which would involve a custody battle for his children, and last but not least, he is medically unfit for active duty.


This so called WO1 that has contacted him, told him that the mobilization may help him since his company is closing.


ArchAngel asks.....


How could it help, when he would only be making less money in the job workforce if he was to be mobilized?  Pennington informed ArchAngel that he has been offered to work for other companies but feel that it would not be right to apply because of the concern that the Army doesn't care if he looses his job and needs to find another to help support his family.


How could it help, if he gets mobilized and loses his kids to a spouse who warned him if he got deployed, she would sue for full custody.


Last, how could it help his medical problem, when he can't even do activities that puts strain on the feet, and ankle.


Mr. Pennington is now requesting the help of Senator Trent Lott.  In the letter for help, he told the Senator about it medical situation mostly because that alone should disqualify him for returning to active duty.


He had injured his left ankle on a cross country run during his tour in South Korea.  A podiatrist doctor from Ft. Polk, La. was treating him but informed Pennington that surgery was recommended to correct the problem but warned him that the surgery may not correct it but may make it worst and not fix the problem at all.


So he decided to complete what was left of his service of just 4 months with a medical profile that would limit his duties to no running, no road marching, walk at own pace and distance, etc...  While a civilian, he re-injured his ankle in an ATV accident that severely twisted and broke the same ankle.  Since then he has been unable to do a lot of physical activities because of pain.


We have done some further research into his MOS of 15H, Aircraft Pneudraulics Repairer.


According to the Army's own qualification and physical demands, this is what a Soldier must have at the least to qualify for this MOS under the physical demands:


        (a)  A physical demands rating of heavy, which means he would be required to lift on an occasional basis a max of 100 pounds with frequent or constant lifting of 50 pounds.


        (b)  A physical profile of 222222 of the profile system P-U-L-H-E-S


        (c)  Normal color vision


Items (a) and (b) would most certainly, or should disqualify him, but that also would depend on how crooked the military doctor that sees him is. ("RUBBER STAMPING!!!!!)


The subject of financial problems, the military will discharge a Soldier under Article 134 of the UCMJ, dept, dishonorable failure to pay.  So not only should his medical keep him from deploying, his financial situation should as well.



Now for ArchAngels request for help from another IRR Soldier.


He has given us permission to post of his situation with the request of not mentioning his name at this point.  The email he sent us reads this:


Dear Archangel,


I have recently become a victim of the IRR mobilization process.  I currently have 18 months of time left on my 8 year service contract.  I was due to report last October, but filed an exemption request which took them 6 months to deny.


My disqualifying back condition "Chronic Spondylolysisis" is clearly stated in multiple Army Regulations as an "unfit" condition but the Commander at HRC did not agree.


I have submitted sufficient medical documentation from my civilian doctors to support my case a need of ongoing care.  My condition will not become better with then next year so they have to discharge me according to the regulations.


I am currently filing my appeal which is a last effort to make them understand my condition.  I see no point in reporting to the mobilization site for fear of being put on medical hold like the rest.  I respectfully would like your help if you can do so, as I am desperate.




I, ArchAngel1BL, called this IRR Soldier, to get a better understanding of his medical condition.


What he has reported to me is that he is currently in a back brace.  He is also going to appeal to HRC after they had denied him exception.  At this time, that is all that we can report.  As soon as more info. comes in, we will be giving an update.


Until then, we need the readers of GI Special to contact their Senators and Congressmen/women and ask why are Soldiers like the ones above and others who are medically unfit being forced to report back for service and into combat???





Telling the truth - about the occupation or the criminals running the government in Washington - is the first reason for Traveling Soldier.  But we want to do more than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance - whether it's in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces.  Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the armed forces.  If you like what you've read, we hope that you'll join with us in building a network of active duty organizers.  http://www.traveling-soldier.org/  And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)






Cheap Asshole Of The Year, So Far:

The Boss Won’t Give Worker Vacation Time To Visit Badly Shot Up Soldier Husband:

Wants Other Workers To Give Up Theirs Instead!


February 15, 2005 By ERIC NEWHOUSE, Tribune Projects Editor


Staff Sgt. John Bennett of Cascade has been seriously wounded by gunfire in Iraq, the Montana Army National Guard announced Monday.


"He was transported to a military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, and is listed in stable condition, said a brief news release from Helena.


His wife, Dena Bennett, flew to Washington, D.C., Monday morning where she was to be issued an emergency passport.  She's scheduled to catch another plane for Germany this morning, said a friend, Kim Trueman.  Members of the 163rd Infantry Battalion's Family Readiness Unit expect both to be flown to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., by this weekend.


"From what we understand, his convoy had stopped and they were ambushed," said Trueman, whose husband, Michael, also is serving in Iraq with the 163rd, a combat unit of about 700 Montana Army National Guard soldiers.


"He's had numerous surgeries," Trueman said. "His damage is quite extensive."


Dena Bennett received the news by phone Friday afternoon at Benefis Healthcare, where she works.


As Bennett left on Monday, Benefis Healthcare officials asked employees to consider donating vacation time to cover her time out of the office.


"Benefis is a big family and we take care of our own, said Bennett's boss, Jim Shelton, manager of patient business services.  [“We?”  No, asshole, you mean “they,” the other workers.  You aren’t giving her the vacation time, you low-life piece of shit.  Take this worthless suit and ship his ass to Iraq.  Stake him out for the resistance.  Then let him talk about his “big family.”]


He said he expects a strong response within the next day or two.  [And let’s hope he gets one.  One he’ll never forget.  A picket line in front of the business is a start.]


Family members are taking care of the couple's four children, Trueman said.



Unarmored Humvee Death Toll Continues To Climb;

More Weasel Words From Soldier-Killer Rumsfeld


[Check the parts in italics.  More little sneaky loopholes for scumbag Rumsfeld to crawl through as troops die.  “Some degree of” protection is a good one.  A garbage can lid is “some degree” of protection.]


Feb 15, 2005 By LISA HOFFMAN, Scripps Howard News Service


As the deadline for "hardened" Humvees arrives Tuesday in Iraq, the U.S. death toll tied to the workhorse vehicles is nearing 400.


By top Pentagon order, from now on only Humvees that carry some degree of armored protection will be allowed to leave secure U.S. encampments for patrols and convoys on the often-mean streets of Iraq.


The new edict comes as a Scripps Howard News Service analysis has found that more than 1 in 4 of the 1,450 deaths of American troops in the war have been associated with Humvees.  Hundreds more soldiers have been wounded in them.


No other piece of war equipment - including helicopters, planes, trucks and other combat transport - carries such a deadly record.  The casualty count of at least 387 includes 75 troops who died in Humvee accidents; that is more than the 67 GIs who have perished in aircraft crashes in the Iraq war.


By far, though, it is combat that has been the most dangerous.  About 70 percent of Humvee casualties have come from insurgents wielding roadside bombs, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons, the analysis showed.


In all, about 19,000 Humvees are in use now in Iraq.  The Pentagon says 75 percent are armored in some way, although critics charge that as many as half are equipped only with the "Mad Max"-like protection that troops are attaching themselves.


After taking heat from a National Guardsman in December over the lack of armored vehicles, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered earlier this month that, by Tuesday, all Humvees and other vehicles in Iraq must have some degree of armored protection.


"There will not be a vehicle moving around in Iraq anywhere outside of a protected compound that does not have the appropriate armor," Rumsfeld said Feb. 3.


21 U.S. troops have drowned when their Humvees tumbled into rivers, canals or drainage ditches.



Soldier Lost Both Legs And Arm In Humvee


Feb 15, 2005 WorldNow


A local soldier seriously injured while serving in Iraq is closer to coming home to Wilmington.


Sgt. Joey Bozik lost both legs and an arm when the HUMVEE he was riding in ran over a land mine just outside Baghdad last October.



Army's Manpower Problem So Bad It Must Now Recall The Injured:

“Even At The Height Of The Vietnam War, I Did Not See This Type Of Thing.”


February 12, 2005 Jack Dalton, Online Journal Contributing Writer.  Jack Dalton is a disabled Vietnam veteran, activist, writer and co-editor of the Project for the Old American Century web publication


Twenty-three-year old Adam Mowery was discharged by the U.S. Army in May of 2003,, from the 188th MP Company stationed in Taegu, South Korea, due to a back injury he sustained while on active duty at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital following the attacks on September 11.  On February 1, 21 months after Adam was forced out of the Army, he was notified he is to report for active duty the first week of April.


In recent conversations with Adam, he told me the original notice to report was last August.  It gave him 30 days to report but, before the 30 days expired he received new orders which extended his report day another 30 days. This continued until the last order on February 1, giving Adam 60 days to report; that would put it the first week of April.


The very same back injury that forced Adam out of the Army in the first place still exists today. The very same back injury which motivated the Army to discharge Adam for the "good of the service" still exists today, nothing has changed.  Adam is still in a lot of pain; he still has significant difficulty with anything that requires physical effort—like walking, running, jumping, climbing, all the things required of someone in the military for combat-readiness.


Adam enlisted in January 2001. He said he "was excited by the prospect of starting my military career;" And that, "I was satisfied with my decision and I had no qualms about training as a military police office."  Later that year, Adam, while in the performance of his duties as an MP sustained a disabling back injury.  It was this back injury and Adam's inability to train or fulfill his duties that led the Army made the decision to discharge him—something Adam himself had never petitioned or asked for.


After Adam was discharged his life took a decided turn.  Adam says it best: "Knowing that a career in military was no longer an option, I had to reconsider my goals, my plans and the way I would live as a civilian once again.  I [was] looking for answers and was intrigued and delighted [when] a friend invited me to fellowship at his church and the chance to renew my faith."  And it was during this time that the kid that was excited about enlisting became a man of principle, moral integrity and honor and a 'conscientious objector.'


This was a conscience decision Adam made about war. He had become a man of conscience and an anti-war advocate. This was a decision that was also made by a man who had served and was discharged from the military due to a permanent injury; a decision made by a man who knew due to his injury and discharge would not be a participant in a war.


So when he received orders to report back to active duty it not only came as shock, it was an issue of great confusion.  After all, it was the Army that forced Adam of the military to begin with due to his injury and now they want him back?  Who would not be confused?


Now unless I'm way off track here, it was the Army that discharged Adam in the first place as he was no longer fit or able to perform his duties due to his service connected injury.  Now he is denied a discharge (a second one) because he doesn't "meet the requirements for a hardship exemption/discharge." Something is seriously wrong with this picture.  They didn't even consider Adam's other request as a conscientious objector."


"As a civilian, and despite a tremendous change in my ethics and moral beliefs, I did not realize the need to apply for recognition as a conscientious objector because I believed I was disqualified from any future military service due to the nature of the ARMY discharging me because of my physical limitations and my inability to perform my job due to sustaining the on-duty injury, upon notification of the possibility to be mobilized, train and participate in war, I am seeking recognition as a conscientious objector 1-0."


Adam now finds himself one of many that in the past year, regardless of their physical disabilities, who are being called back to active duty as a result of the mess our government has created by this BushCo war of choice in Iraq; A war of choice that has resulted in a seriously overextended and strained U.S. military.


The Army stated Adam was honorably discharged for: AR 635-200, Chapter 18, Weight Control Failure.  Due to Adam's back injury he was no longer able to participate in any physical activities and he gained some weight.  The Army says someone 6'1" should weigh 180 pounds; Adam came in at 240 pounds so the Army discharged him for not meeting its weight guidelines, which was a result of the back injury.


Essentially what the Army has said with that discharge is they are discharging Adam for the "good of the service."  Now it wants him back!


Knowing the way the military works, I have a good understanding why the Army discharged Adam as it did.  If Adam had been discharged specifically for the back injury the Army would be taking care of him, including having to compensate him for the service-connected disability relating to his back injury.


Unfortunately Adam is not alone in terms of people that have significant injuries and disabilities who are being called up to active duty. In the past month alone, I've spoken with the wife of a 42-year old man who has been out for some time and who had four separate doctors state he is disabled.


He has significant seizures but has been called back to active duty; a young man with a degenerative nerve disease causing him to go deaf, called back to active duty; a 22 year old man with a centrally herniated disk at C-4/C-5 level in his neck and both vertebra cracked, after seven months of no duty he reports back from leave, fit for duty and on to Iraq—I spoke with his father, a Vietnam vet, a couple of times and he is going out of his mind with worry for his son.


I could go on with more like these, but this should be enough to get the idea. The people that created this obscene mess and the so-called military leaders have lost their ever lovin' minds!  It's bad enough to send anyone to war, but to call up those that have significant health and physical issues, as in Adam's case, is sheer lunacy and total disregard for people.


Even at the height of the Vietnam War, I did not see this type of thing.


We in this nation had better wake up to what Bush and his cadre of war hawks have done and are doing to this nation and the people in it while we still have a nation or are we all going to just sit around watching, saying nothing as young men are sent off to war; and the Army can't make up its mind if someone they have discharged is discharged.


That's not an all-volunteer Army, that's called forced indenture—once it was called slavery. Is this what we have allowed the nation to become?  Lives that are not our own, but the state's to do with as it will, when it will?  That's what it is beginning to look like.


In the meantime, Adam is standing up with head held high; a man of character, of ethics, of integrity and honor; a man that I am in full support of and am proud to call friend.  He is a man with a tough fight ahead of him as he tries to get the Army to do the right thing and discharge him—again!



Afghan And Iraq War Spending Nearly Half Total $ Cost Of Vietnam


February 15, 2005 By Alan Fram, Associated Press


The $2.57 trillion budget Bush sent Congress last week would push the total spent in Iraq and Afghanistan and other efforts against terrorism beyond $300 billion.


The request spotlighted how the growing costs of war and reconstruction have exceeded initial administration characterizations. White House officials derided former Bush economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey’s early estimate of a $100 billion to $200 billion price tag.


The U.S. involvement in Vietnam, which lasted more than a decade when it ended in 1975, cost $623 billion when that era’s expenditures are converted to the value of today’s dollars, according to the research service.




[Thanks to Phil G who sent this in.]



Diarrhea A Major Threat To US Troops In Iraq


February 13, 2005 Tony Tharakan in New Delhi, rediff.com India


Diarrhea and related diseases are a major threat to the American troops posted in the Middle East, a report by the US-based Walter Reed Army Institute of Research said.


"Diarrheal diseases are the number one threat to the US soldiers in Iraq," Dr Malabi Venkatesan, a researcher at the Institute's Department of Enteric Infection said.

[Not counting the resistance.]


"Such diseases pose enormous logistical and manpower problems," she said.


"Shigellosis or bacillary dysentery is dangerous because as few as 100-1000 virulent bacteria can cause the disease," Venkatesan said.



Anti-Terrorism Law Could Send Former Marine Back To Haiti:

U.S. Wants To Deport Iraq War Vet


February 14, 2005 By Deborah funk, Army Times staff writer


An anti-terrorism law aimed at non-U.S. citizens could send a former Marine and Iraq war veteran back to his native Haiti.


“I’ve been here since the age of 5,” said Philippe Louis-Jean, who was one of more than 40,000 noncitizens in uniform before he left the Marines as a corporal last year.  “What else do I know but America?”


Immigration officials are trying to deport Louis-Jean, a Haitian citizen who is married to an American, under a 1996 anti-terrorism law that calls for the deportation of noncitizens convicted of aggravated felonies.


Louis-Jean pleaded guilty in 2002 to sodomy and adultery for having oral sex with a minor, the stepdaughter of a Marine sergeant. Louis-John said that at the time of the offense the girl told him she was an adult, and he believed her.


Court records show the girl admitted she lied to him, said Bill Waddell, Louis-Jean’s immigration attorney.


Officials at Camp Pendleton, Calif., where Louis-Jean was stationed, did not respond to questions.


“I didn’t lie about anything,” Louis-Jean said by phone from an immigration detention facility in San Diego. “I told the truth and that’s what killed me.”


Louis-Jean was convicted by special court-martial, sentenced to 45 days in the brig, and reduced in rank from corporal to private first class.  After his release, the mortarman went on to serve in Southwest Asia from January to May 2003 with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment.


Louis-Jean had worked his way back up to corporal and squad leader when immigration police arrested him in March 2004 in his first sergeant’s office.  He had come to the attention of immigration enforcement officials when he applied for citizenship, Waddell said.


The Marine Corps subsequently honorably discharged Louis-Jean, and immigration officials initiated deportation proceedings based on his prior military conviction.  Louis-Jean is appealing to the Board of Immigration Appeals, where his case is pending.


Meanwhile, Waddell argues that Louis-Jean’s conviction is not an aggravated felony. Waddell said the crime doesn’t fall under the category of sex abuse of a minor because the military’s sodomy law doesn’t address age.  In addition, Waddell said a case could be made that the nature of Louis-Jean’s military prosecution and sentencing make his offense similar to a misdemeanor.


Waddell said his client should be permitted to reapply for permanent residency because he is married to an American.



Anti-War Display Attacked By Vandals


[Thanks to PG, who sent this in.]


February 15, 2005 By Carrie Peyton Dahlberg – Sacramento Bee Staff Writer


An American soldier's uniform has become a lightning rod for anger and anguish after a Land Park couple posted it on their house, accompanied by anti-war signs.


Talk radio has jumped aboard.  TV crews filmed it reportedly being torn down. Cable news and Internet bloggers have given it a national audience.  Military family supporters are planning a candlelight vigil.


It makes a crucial point, though, said one of the pair, Stephen Pearcy.  "It's a message of dissent over the war in Iraq. ... The soldiers are being left out to hang" under misguided American policy paid for with U.S. tax dollars, he said.


The Pearcys, both attorneys, have placed uniform displays outside their home twice -- and twice they were torn down, most recently on Monday.  Stephen Pearcy said they'll keep on mounting displays to provoke important discussion.  [An attack dog in the yard might help.  Or a shotgun.]


Not everyone agrees that the message is too incendiary.


UC Davis professor Clarence Walker, who sometimes uses images of effigies when he teaches America's history, believes it's not just the image but U.S. ambivalence about war that is being tapped.


No sign alone could have delivered that message as forcefully as the empty uniform, Walker said.


"It's not holding the soldiers up to hate or ridicule.  It's pointing out that the soldiers are being misused," he said.  "They've really brought this thing home."


Still, Deborah Johns of Roseville, co-founder of Marine Moms and Military Families, has asked police to investigate the Pearcy display as a hate crime.


"My son wears that uniform every day.  It's an insult to hang it up like that."


Johns said she has never heard an anti-war message that strikes her as truly respectful and kind.  [How could it?  She’s for the war.]


A man identified by police as Bryan Mathew O'Malley went to authorities with his lawyer Monday to discuss last week's removal of the Pearcys' display, and his name will be forwarded to prosecutors with a vandalism report, said Sacramento Police Sgt. Justin Risley.  Police are looking into the second removal.



DoD Put Troops In Harms Way;

Troops Not Total Of Sometimes Lethal Side Effects Of Larium


"What are we doing giving drugs that cause hallucinations, confusion, psychotic behavior to people that carry weapons and hold secret clearances?" asked Pogany, 33, who is now seeking a medical discharge. "It doesn't pass the common-sense test."


"There's a strong recommendation not to use Lariam for those who depend on fine motor skills," he said. "Do you call firing an M-16 a fine motor skill? I do."


February 12, 2005 By SETH HETTENA, Associated Press Writer & February 7, 2005 By Brian H. Kehrl, In These Times


SAN DIEGO -- As a volunteer firefighter, Georg-Andreas Pogany had seen disfigured bodies pulled from wrecked cars.  But something very different happened when the Army interrogator saw the mangled remains of an Iraqi soldier.


He became panicked, disoriented and that night reached for both his loaded pistol and rifle as he thought he saw the enemy bursting into his room.  Pogany asked his superiors for help; the Army packed him home to face charges of cowardice _ the first such case since Vietnam.


None of it made sense to Pogany until he learned more about the white pills the Army gave him each week to prevent malaria.


Among the myriad side effects for Lariam—according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and anecdotal accounts of patients given the drug—are anxiety, paranoia, depression, vertigo, hallucinations, nightmares, psychotic behavior, brain damage, vestibular (inner ear) damage and suicidal thoughts.


It became his defense: The pills made him snap.  The Army dropped all charges, a spokesman later saying that Pogany "may have a medical problem that requires care and treatment."


Pogany is among the current or former troops sent to Iraq who claim that Lariam, the commercial name for the anti-malarial drug mefloquine, provoked disturbing and dangerous behavior.  The families of some troops blame the drug for the suicides of their loved ones.  


Though the evidence is largely anecdotal, their stories have raised alarm in Congress, and the Pentagon has stopped giving out a pill it probably never needed to give to tens of thousands of troops in Iraq in the first place.


"What are we doing giving drugs that cause hallucinations, confusion, psychotic behavior to people that carry weapons and hold secret clearances?" asked Pogany, 33, who is now seeking a medical discharge. "It doesn't pass the common-sense test."


The U.S. military, which developed the drug after the Vietnam War, maintains that Lariam is safe and effective, though officials have expressed some concern and the military tells its pilots not to take Lariam.


In written guidance on the drug last year, the military urged commanders to send for a medical evaluation anyone who showed behavioral changes after taking the drug, "especially ... if they carry a weapon" - a description of nearly all U.S. troops in Iraq.


"Delay could put the service member or your unit at risk," the guide said.


Further blurring the issue, the side effects associated with Lariam closely mirror symptoms of stress disorders related to combat, making diagnosis difficult.


Still, the pill has dedicated critics who believe it's causing problems that are only beginning to be understood.  A review by the Department of Veterans' Affairs found 34 articles in medical journals about patients who took Lariam and became paranoid, psychotic or behaved strangely.


Within the civilian medical community, faith in the drug is mixed among doctors who specialize in tropical diseases.  Two said they routinely prescribe it to travelers and believe troop complaints are overblown.  Another criticized the military's use of a drug with a known history of psychiatric complications.


Dr. G. Richard Olds, professor and chairman of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, is among Lariam's critics.


"There's a strong recommendation not to use Lariam for those who depend on fine motor skills," he said.  "Do you call firing an M-16 a fine motor skill? I do."


The FDA also notes that “caution should be exercised with regard to activities requiring alertness and fine motor coordination such as driving, piloting aircraft, operating machinery … These effects may occur after therapy is discontinued due to the long half-life of the drug.”


At least 18 soldiers have been diagnosed with brain or vestibular damage from Lariam toxicity since the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan by Doctors at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego.


The Pentagon's records show the number of Lariam prescriptions issued to active-duty personnel nearly doubled from 18,704 in 2002 to 36,451 the next year, said Lt. Col. Stephen Phillips, a program director for deployment medicine.  Since prescriptions issued at remote locations aren't counted, actual numbers may be higher.


Shortly after the March 2003 invasion, military doctors determined another malaria drug would do the job with fewer side effects.  Around the same time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that doctors should give patients revised information, underscoring that some Lariam users experience severe anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, depression and think about killing themselves.


The FDA requires that a warning be issued to any patient prescribed the drug, but, according to Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, many soldiers taking it were never informed of the potential side effects.


Troops were supposed to receive those kinds of warnings, but several current and former soldiers interviewed for this story said they did not - and that they continued taking the drug in Iraq as recently as 2004.  In that year, Phillips said, the number of prescriptions fell to 12,363.


Concerns about those taking the drug weren't new. Some U.S. and Canadian forces deployed to Somalia in the early 1990s reported strange behavior. 


Last year, the assistant defense secretary for health affairs ordered a review of the drug's use based on troop concerns.  Many who complained came from the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Carson, Colo. A base spokesman referred all questions to the Pentagon.


In a letter last month, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., pressed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to release results of the Pentagon's investigation.  Feinstein has said there is enough evidence in the warnings from Lariam's maker "to make the causal link between the drug and many of the serious adverse events experienced by service members."


Military officials now concede Lariam wasn't needed in Iraq - and not just because, according to the Pentagon, no malaria infections have been reported among U.S. forces there.


Troops sent to Kuwait in 1991 for Operation Desert Storm were given another anti-malarial, chloroquine.  Before the Iraq invasion, the Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center in Fort Detrick, Md., which is charged with evaluating medical risks, was concerned that a deadly malaria strain in the region might have become resistant to chloroquine.  They relied on reports from the World Health Organization and U.S. Special Operations units sent to northern Iraq.


In a series of reports before the invasion, the intelligence center extrapolated that _ without bug spray, mosquito nets or other preventive measures _ about 1 in 2,000 troops could pick up a deadly chloroquine-resistant malaria strain, according to a spokesman, Army Lt. Col. Michael Birmingham.


 In March 2003, U.S. Central Command recommended the use of Lariam or another drug, doxycycline, in high-risk areas in Iraq.  The idea was "to err on the side of caution," rather than assume chloroquine would work, said Phillips of the Pentagon's deployment medicine program.


Some commanders chose Lariam because it could be taken once a week rather than daily like doxycycline, whose main side effects included sensitivity to sunlight.


By July 2003, the military had determined the chloroquine-resistant strain wasn't in Iraq. Chloroquine then became the drug of choice.


"That's the saddest part," said Laura Howell, a widow with two children after her husband killed himself in Colorado Springs, Colo. "There was never a need."


Howell blames Lariam for what happened a few weeks after her husband, a veteran Green Beret, returned home. In March 2004, Chief Warrant Officer William Howell went from "normal to murderous" in a half-hour, his wife said, and ended his life in his front yard with a bullet to the head.


Critics of the drug in organizations such as Lariam Action USA and the National Gulf War Resources Center believe Lariam is connected to the surge in military suicides in 2003, when 23 people deployed to Iraq and Kuwait took their lives.  The suicide rate dropped after Lariam's use was halted in Iraq.


Former Army Spc. Don Dills and his wife say he grew anxious, paranoid and depressed after taking Lariam for seven months in Iraq.  Dills, 22, says he "went crazy" on a family visit to Mississippi last year and wound up jailed for robbery.  When Dills' wife called her husband's first sergeant about the arrest, he told her: Look into Lariam.


Dills, who like Pogany and Howell was based at Fort Carson, was kicked out of the military shortly after he wound up in a psychiatric ward for problems he and his wife contend are linked to Lariam.


"The bottom line is they know what's going on," said Elicia Dills, 25, of Pueblo, Colo. "They just don't know how to deal with the can of worms they opened."


Feinstein and the House Armed Services Committee have been driving the push for a study of the drug’s side effects in Congress.  In June 2004, Feinstein began her calls for a study with letters to both Rumsfeld and outgoing Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs Anthony Principi.  The Pentagon responded to Feinstein’s request with a promise to conduct the study, but said that it would take years to complete.


But according to Robinson, the Pentagon’s study is different from the one requested by Feinstein.  Instead of surveying current troops, they have chosen to perform a retroactive study on Lariam’s effects on soldiers during the ’80s and ’90s.  Robinson believes the reason for the change is that the Pentagon hasn’t kept proper records on soldiers’ prescriptions, making it impossible to track any correlation between side effects and use of the drug.


Ever since the outbreak of Gulf War Syndrome—and the difficulties that those conducting a survey of affected soldiers encountered in tracking down medical records—the Pentagon has been required by law to keep track of any medication given to service members.


“If you don’t have anything accurate to base the study on, then how can you make conclusions?” says Jeanne Lese, co-director of Lariam Action USA, a Lariam awareness advocacy group.


Do you have a friend or relative in the service?  Forward this E-MAIL along, or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly.  Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and inside the armed services.  Send requests to address up top.



VA Turning Away Iraq Veterans;

Bureaucrat Sneers At Problem


"The DOD's role isn't to teach me how to be a good civilian," says Pete Dougherty, director of the VA's homeless services. "Their role is to teach me how to be a good sailor or a good active duty member."  Dougherty acknowledges a problem exists, but insists it won't be a "huge problem."


"The message our government is basically sending our troops is, 'Once you take off that uniform, you're on your own.”


February 7, 2005 By ROBERT PEAR and CARL HULSE, New York Times & February 8, 2005, By Rose Aguilar, AlterNet


WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 - President Bush's budget would more than double the co-payment charged to many veterans for prescription drugs and would require some to pay a new fee of $250 a year for the privilege of using government health care, administration officials said Sunday.


Richard B. Fuller, legislative director of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, added that the budget would force veterans hospitals and clinics to limit services.  "We are already seeing an increase in waiting lists, even for some Iraq veterans," he said.


In Michigan, for example, thousands of veterans are on waiting lists for medical services, and some reservists returning from Iraq say they have been unable to obtain the care they were promised.


A veterans clinic in Pontiac, Mich., put a limit on new enrollment. Cutbacks at a veterans hospital in Altoona, Pa., are forcing some veterans to seek treatment elsewhere.


Herold Noel served his time in the military, including the first five months of the Iraq war in 2003 as a fuel handler for the military. He returned from Iraq in August of that year to Brooklyn, N.Y., hoping for a welcome and a helping hand from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), something he had been told to expect.  That was not to be.


"The government says one thing, but does another," says Noel. "I came back to New York thinking there would be support; that I would have a job, but I was sadly mistaken."


Noel says he contacted several government programs, including the VA, but was told he'd have to wait up to a year for services. "It's time for the government to wake up," he says.  "If soldiers come back and find out they were lied to, we're going to have a rebellion on our hands."


In some cases, the government is literally putting them out on the streets.


A few weeks ago, a Cincinnati County commissioner in Ohio called Charlie Blythe, a Vietnam vet and coordinator of the state's Goodwill Industries' Programs for Homeless Veterans, and told him that an Iraq vet was about to be released from a local alcohol treatment program run by the VA and the man had nowhere to go.


Blythe agreed to house the vet until he secures another spot at the VA.  "Doesn't that make a lot of sense?" Blythe asks sarcastically. "The VA treats someone for 28 days and releases him, even though they know he doesn't have a home."


Blythe is currently housing three Iraq vets and has already received e-mails from many more who expect to be on the streets after they return from Iraq.  "The people that are coming back are not the men and women that we sent over there and we don't have the funding to take care of them," he says.


"The message our government is basically sending our troops is, 'Once you take off that uniform, you're on your own,” says Linda Boone, executive director of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV), a nonprofit that works to end homelessness among veterans.  "To say the Department of Defense isn't doing an adequate job of preparing the military for civilian life would be an understatement."


The VA says Boone is missing the point. "The DOD's role isn't to teach me how to be a good civilian," says Pete Dougherty, director of the VA's homeless services. "Their role is to teach me how to be a good sailor or a good active duty member."


Boone recently conducted a survey of 19 member organizations across the country that counted 67 vets from Iraq and Afghanistan in homeless shelters last year. "Homelessness is going to be a huge problem, but we don't see the DOD even acknowledging there is a class of homeless vets."


Dougherty acknowledges a problem exists, but insists it won't be a "huge problem."


So what is in place?  The DOD won't say, and suggested we call the National Guard or Army Reserve. At the National Guard, Lt. Col. Mike Milord would only say our questions were "good ones that deserve to be answered."  He suggested calling someone at the state level.


We tried the VA and gave up after being put on hold for 30 minutes.


Later, Dougherty said that long wait was an "unusual circumstance."  [What a lying stack of shit. .]


The process of seeking assistance through the VA can be daunting, says Rose Sutton, director of Next Step, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based non-profit that provides employment training and supportive housing services to 500 veterans a year.  "If vets are wounded, the VA will care for them, but if they're wounded mentally, they'll take them through a lot of hoops and obstacles and make them prove the problem happened during duty."


Sutton, Casimir and Boone say the public needs to put the pressure on politicians to demand the DOD help vets assimilate when they come home because it won't do it voluntarily.


Boone moved to Washington D.C. nine years ago because she "thought people on Capitol Hill just didn't understand the problem."  She assumed she would get the story out and the government would provide funding to organizations like hers.  "I'm here nine years later and they still aren't writing the checks."


The U.S. is spending $4.8 billion a month on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, according to the Pentagon controller's office.  Says Boone: "Why should I have to spend so much of my time trying to get $50 million for a homeless vets program? Vets shouldn't be homeless.


We could prevent it for pennies compared to what the government is spending on the war.  It makes no sense."






Mosul Resistance Attack Frees Prisoner, Kills To Occupation Cops


Feb 15 The Canadian Press


Police in Mosul said gunmen ambushed a police vehicle transporting a suspected insurgent south of the city on Monday.  Two police officers were killed, two wounded and the suspect escaped.



Assorted Resistance Attacks


16feb05 AFP & Associated Press


Two soldiers were killed and another wounded when a bomb exploded near the restive Sunni town of Dhuluiyah, north of Baghdad, Captain Assad Amjad said.


"The blast went off at 9am (5pm AEDT) as an army patrol drove by," the officer said.


Near the town of Balad, further north, the body of an executed soldier was pulled out of the Tigris river, a police source said. It was not clear when and in what circumstances he was killed.


In Baghdad, a policeman and a member of the civil aviation administration were shot dead late yesterday, police said.


In the western part of the capital, a roadside bomb killed a civilian and seriously injured a policeman.  Associated Press Television News showed footage of a white police S-U-V peppered with holes from flying shrapnel.


Three other policemen were also wounded in a mortar attack in the capital.







Timely Graffiti & Self-Emancipation


From: Z

To: GI Special

Sent: February 15, 2005


In the summer of 1990 as the elder Bush was winding up to attack Iraq, the following graffiti appeared in Taylor Park in Millburn, New Jersey:




Now--nearly 15 years later--is surely as good a time as any for self-emancipation, high time for the troops to give the finger to those who abuse them and head home to reunite with those who love them.


In solidarity


What do you think?  Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome.  Send to contact@militaryproject.org.  Name, I.D., withheld on request.  Replies confidential.



Iraqi Resistance Recruiter Asks U.S. Troops To Enlist!


So US soldiers, give a sense and a meaning to your existence, join, now, the Iraqi resistance!


2.15.05 By Abu Assur, Al-Moharer (excerpts)


You don't believe in this war.  This war is not yours.  Iraqis didn't harm you or your family.


Just realize your state right now, far away from your moms, sisters and fiancÚs.  Are you going to see them again?  After what you have seen in Iraq, you will never be the same. Have you sullied your hands and souls by killing innocents Iraqis?


Most of you are Christians.  Everything in this war doesn't sound right.  It is ugly, to come to people's homes and kill them, just because they have petrol.  Remember you Latinos, what the US is doing in Venezuela, in Cuba, in Columbia.  Remember what Negroponte the murderer did to Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala.


So there is a solution.  Instead of getting depressed.  Instead of going bananas and berserk with no morale in a war you know you can't possibly win.  Instead of shooting at random innocent Iraqis who are just defending their homes as you would have probably done had your families been attacked by yobs who crossed far away land and oceans to come and hurt you.


I know it is easy to commit suicide in a minute or in a second of lunacy, especially when you have a rifle just nearby at hand.  [But] In Iraq you will have an opportunity to be positive about life.


Life is still beautiful, when you wake up every morning, with lots and lots of projects and your head teeming with plans, doing things, beautiful thing, getting nice ideas, positive ones to build yourselves.


But if you wake up every morning in Iraq while the angel of death is roaming and hovering above you, waiting for an IED or an RPG to harvest more of US [troops], in every corner, in every street, behind every wall, every hill, every date palm tree, what kind of a life is that?


In Iraq even the ghosts are US enemies.  Don't rely on your armor to elude death…...  As I said you already don't believe in this war, or in other blunt words, you are already defeated within yourselves.  So don't believe the Pentagon propaganda.


This war is a war of wills.  Iraqis have [the will to fight.]. Their will is a stubborn and an iron one.  It is their land.


The Pentagon sharks know it but they don’t care a damn about you.  The Pentagon planners manage the army like managing a chicken farm.  They do manage you, and your fate and destiny and death like managing mere hunting dogs in a hunting session.


They are civilians and they are rich.  Cheney and Bush never went to serve in Vietnam War.  They had the money and the contacts to escape the draft.   Are they superior or better than you?  They don't send their children to get killed in Iraq.  The Corporate media, Fox news journalists, Jane Arraf who spends her days lying about Iraq, like she breathes, all these US brass are not concerned about what you are going through.


As I said there is a solution.  A good deal and a suggestion to help you.


To begin with: flee Iraq!


Iraqis will help you.  Absolutely sure.  These people keep their word.  They will show you a way out from Iraq.  You will not be the first ones to escape.  Don't feel guilty that you might be considered as a deserter.  The real cowards and dishonest are Bush and his Mafiosi circle the likes of Wolfowitz, Cheney, and Rumsfeld who lied to the US people about Iraq, and who care a damn about your lives.  So be honest with yourselves, follow your convictions, don't get killed for Bush Texan clan oil and Condi Rice Chevron petrol tankers.  Flee Iraq once and for all.


If you think the US CIA gangs will hunt you down, will kidnap you, or even murder you, by their killing squads, then stay in Iraq.  You will be welcomed by the resistance fighter's families.  They are hospitable; they will protect you whatever happens.


The story says that a foreigner sought refuge in an Arab home.  He was given protection and security.  When the thugs came for him and asked the host to deliver the wanted man, he refused.  They menaced to slaughter his only child who was playing outside. He still refused.  The thugs did execute their threat.


The generous Arab became the symbol of hospitality and generosity.  So you can trust the Iraqi fighters.  Your days can be fulfilled.  You will learn Arabic, you will enjoy the fantastic Arabic culture, and may be even one day, why not, and you will read the holy Koran in the original text. 


Arabic language takes you on a flying carpet of dreams.  Arabic poetry has no equal. Imagine yourselves free from Bush bloodthirsty army, with a tranquil conscience on a horseback galloping on this sacred soil of Iraq, which saw the first Revelation, which is the cradle of civilization.  Under the stars named first by Babylonian astronomers thousands of years ago.


Listen to what one Iraqi poet from the 9th century says: The best place ever on this earth is to be on a saddle of a lightning-like galloping horse, and the best and most faithful companion ever on the land, is a good book to read.


Yes Iraqis fighters will protect you.  You know that your US army can't protect you.


The real masters of the land in Iraq are the resistors.  So join them.!


Of course you may remain Christians.


The Iraqi fighters will put you in touch with Iraqi Christians.  Iraq is the land of the oldest Christian community.


Our faith goes back to the disciple Saint Thomas the doubter.  Our Christianity has nothing to do with Bush Zionist faith, based on petrodollars stained with South American, Palestinian, Afghani and Iraqi innocent blood.


The Christians in Iraq pray in Aramaic, Jesus mother tongue.  You may learn Aramaic and again one day you may pray 'Our Father' in this holy language.  It starts like this: Aoon d'Washmaya.  You probably don't know that Iraq is the cradle of the Bible.


Get interested into our common history, origins and roots which started some 10,000 years ago in glorious Sumer, Babylon, Assur and Akkad and eternal Baghdad.


Break the chains of your servitude from the US murdering army.  Free yourselves from Cheney, Bush and Wolfowitz lies!  Learn!  If you are a bachelor, get married to an Iraqi beauty.  Convert to Islam this great, beautiful and most tolerant faith, which teaches you how just to give your entire self to the Lord, to repudiate evil and to combat injustice.


Listen to this magnificent verse from the Koran: "Don't you realize that hearts get their profound peace through God.  Every soul has an angel guardian.  Look at the heavens, aren't they marvelously built!  Look at the earth, it is so rightly laid."


Stay in Iraq instead of going back to your slums, pollution, racism, and porn, which will get you nowhere.


You can help also by giving interviews to condemn this war and denounce US army criminals and US tyranny.  So you see there is a way to think life differently.


Sure, no one can possibly blame you.  You didn't know what was awaiting you in Iraq. Again they lied at you, and their media are still lying at the US people!  They told you Iraq would be an easy trip to see more of the world.  They didn't probably tell you that this voyage could be your one-way trip to the other world.  Now you know.


So US soldiers, give a sense and a meaning to your existence, join, now, the Iraqi resistance!


[But do they have stop loss?]







Forget That Democracy Bullshit:

Oil Companies Impatient For
“New Iraq”


February 8, 2005 United Press International


BAGHDAD -- As the cameras roll, Iraq's Oil Minister Thamer Ghadban announces that he will build a new database mapping the country's lucrative oil reserves.


Waiters in white shirts and bow ties bear cookies and Cokes on silver trays into the glassed-in conference room on the sixth floor of the former Defense Ministry building. Female data entry workers, their heads covered by colorful scarves, stand patiently outside the room, smiling at all of the fuss.


This is the face of an elite Iraq that few get to see.


Foreign companies invite oil officials to neighboring Jordan to cut deals, since it's considered too dangerous for CEOs to travel to Iraq, ministry officials say privately.  But the prospective oil wealth waiting just under the surface is luring international oil giants to offer computers, trips, training, and possibly cold, hard cash.


Exploration Consultants Ltd., of London, donated the $250,000 database system and the training to run it.  In recent months British Petroleum-Amoco, ChevronTexaco and others have invited select groups of engineers and others across the world to learn about developments in the past 10 years in oil exploration and drilling. 


"This will make us able to solve technical problems ourselves," Ghadban said of the new database system. "We will become self-sufficient and be able to manage production. This will help us work better with foreign companies."


Getting to see the minister means dealing with four sets of guards, a pat-down search and walks through two metal detectors.  Instead, most companies send the $5,000 in earnest money required to bid on new projects and lobby oil officials until they hear back, Ahmed al-Shamma, a deputy minister, said recently.


The biggest prize?


A possible $3 billion contract to build a new "super refinery" producing gasoline and other oil products from up to 1 million barrels per day of Iraq crude, said a senior U.S. Embassy official in Baghdad, declining to be named.  An announcement could come by the end of the month; building a new refinery could take more than two years.


Companies such as Shell, Exxon and Chevron are offering all sorts of pot sweeteners to get on a refinery short list, the official said.  Each one wants a "one-off" production-sharing agreement that will make it worthwhile to deal with the volatility in Iraq, including a still-changing government.


Instead, U.S. advisers are recommending that the government write a petroleum law to keep things open and transparent. "One-off" deals create conditions that encourage corruption, the official said.


"If we go contract by contract, other companies will out-bribe the United States companies, and we will lose," the official said. "We want a fair, open, equal process, and U.S. companies have better technology."


No foreign company can own land or extract natural resources under rules written by U.S. administrators after U.S. troops came into the country in April 2003.


In the meantime, Ghadban and an interim government "ministers' council" have approved at least six smaller refineries in recent weeks.  A 30,000 barrel-per-day "package refinery" will be built in Koysenja near the northern city of Suleiymania, officials say.  Another one is slated for Koya, nearby.  In northern Mosul, where recent fighting kept some polls closed on Election Day, a refinery is planned to deal with crude reserves, said Asim Jihad, an oil ministry spokesman.


In the south, a new 10,000 barrel-per-day refinery recently came online in Nasriyah.  A 230,000 barrel-per-day refinery is to be built in Najaf, a Shiite Muslim religious site, and another in Musayab.


Iraq's three workhorse refineries in northern Beiji, central Daura and southern Basra currently process less than 500,000 barrels per day of crude oil, leading, in part to gasoline shortages around the country.  Long lines of cars at gas stations continue to plague the capital.


But many say the lines are caused by smugglers taking Iraq's heavily subsidized gasoline to other countries, since Iraq is currently importing up to $200 million per month in gas and other oil products.  Consumers pay about a penny for a liter of gas at the pump.







Blood Money:

Hearing Slams War Profiteer Corruption:

Troops Suffer As The Capitalists Grab The Loot


Representing Rep. Waxman, William Hartung said that this corruption is also harming our troops.  They don’t have the supplies they need while money is being wasted through this corruption.  Hartung said, "I have never seen this level of corruption and cronyism."


15th February 2005 Ben Frank


Senator Byron Dorgan convened a hearing to shed light on the recent revelations of contractor corruption in Iraq.


Details of the corruption:


-Halliburton has reportedly overcharged us $100 million dollars for fuel.  They charged the US taxpayers $2.64 per gallon to import gasoline from Kuwait to Iraq, $1 more than the going rate. (Note- before the war, Iraqis bought gas for about a nickel per gallon.)


-Halliburton charged for 42,000 meals per day when it only delivered 14,000 per day. "That’s not a snafu, that’s cheating," said Dorgan.


-Buyers were instructed to purchase from ’preferred suppliers’ using purchase orders less than $2,500. (because these were not audited)


-Instructed not to use spreadsheets to avoid generating any kind of electronic trail.


-KBR managers frequently used phrases like, "don’t worry about the price, it’s cost plus"


-Cost Plus contracts gave no motivation to keep costs down since the higher the price, the more $$ they made.


One example of waste was a contract for embroidered towels.  The original batch of plain towels was returned for the higher priced towels embroidered with KBR’s logo- higher price translated to more profit for KBR.  If this practice was used for all purchasing in Iraq, Halliburton may be forced to repay billions of dollars.


Senator Lautenberg, "When you have a business that says- the more money you spend, the more you make- there is something unholy about that."


Representing Rep. Waxman, William Hartung said that this corruption is also harming our troops.  They don’t have the supplies they need while money is being wasted through this corruption.  Hartung said, "I have never seen this level of corruption and cronyism."


Senator Dorgan, "Clearly we’re being cheated, clearly we’re being ripped off- Why doesn’t the DoD say, ’End of this game, we’re not going to put up with this.’ "


Senator Durbin’s final thoughts, "If the American people follow this hearing and what we have said, they are going to respond with an outrage.  Their money is being wasted and our soldiers are being endangered because of this situation.... Where is the accountability? ... This hearing is the beginning..."






The Dog Made Me Eat My Homework


From: M

To: GI Special

Sent: February 15, 2005

Subject: Not an American, but . . .


I glanced thru the site looking for evidence of a realisation that this war against Iraq is Zionist controlled and directed.


Nothing to do with Haliburton and other corporate buddies of W as these are merely plausible covers for Israeli control of your govt. and military.


Because you don't understand that, your efforts, though earnest and well meaning, are futile and your armed forces will suffer greatly in the next target selected for you by Israel - Iran.


I don't say this lightly as some of my relatives of draft age live in your country.



REPLY:  From GI Special 3A1, Jan. 1, 2005:


Silly Myths Of 2004


#2.  Israel commands U.S. foreign policy.


All this does is let those who run the U.S. Empire off the hook.  It also implies that if only it weren’t so, the U.S. Imperial ruling class wouldn’t do such naughty things.  This preposterous nonsense merely assists those in Washington who prefer to hide their responsibility for the misery their Empire inflicts everywhere in the world, including the fact that propping up the Zionist terrorist state that occupies Palestine serves their interests.  The dog made me eat my homework, and it’s all Israel’s fault.





Website Problem


From: JF, Thailand

To: GI Special

Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 6:07 AM


Good to see you're back.  I'm also beginning to realize what a lot o work it is for you to get out the GI Specials. Hope you can keep it up.  They are a force of their own, very powerful in my opinion.




A notice should have been posted that there were technical problems with the web site uploadings, which is what JF is writing about when he says, “Good to see you’re back.”


In future, if that happens again, a notice will be included in GI Special so everybody knows what’s going on.  Lesson learned.  Thank you for your encouragement.  T


If printed out, this newsletter is your personal property and cannot legally be confiscated from you.  “Possession of unauthorized material may not be prohibited.”  DoD Directive 1325.6 Section