www.albasrah.net
 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

11.23.04

Print it out (color best).  Pass it on.

 

GI SPECIAL 2#C29

 

http://www.vvaw.org/

 

 

LRP To Benning

Vietnam, Iraq Vets & Vets For Peace

 

Accompanying the Philadelphia Delegation of Vets, Michael Hoffman, co-founder of Iraq Veterans Against War (http://IVAW.net) led the proselytizing with Big Red One & 3rd I.D. troops who were all over the Main Gate, and "Uptown" nite spots.

 

Bill Perry, 22 Nov 2004 Report from Fort Benning

Subject: VVAW Contacts triangulate to Ft Benning SOA-Watch Demonstration

 

VVAW Contacts all triangulated their way to the School of the Americas Watch 3-Day Demo at the Front Gate of Ft. Benning, Ga.

 

Our Contacts linked up with more than a score of other VVAW members, and nearly 100 Veterans For Peace sisters and brothers.

 

Accompanying the Philadelphia Delegation of Vets, Michael Hoffman, co-founder of Iraq Veterans Against War (http://IVAW.net) led the proselytizing with Big Red One & 3rd I.D. troops who were all over the Main Gate, and "Uptown" nite spots.

 

The School of the Americas Watch demo drew about 15,000 folks.  It was a very eclectic bunch, with Franciscan Friars & Jesuit dudes all robed out in their floor length, rope belted, hot n itchy looking outerwear.

 

Lotsa Nuns, all looking much sweeter than the evil bitches who beat hell out of me until I got thrown out of their elementary schools, mixed with freshly scrubbed, apple cheeked virgins from every major Catholic college imaginable.

 

Even though the local Judges made it clear that first time trespassers ALWAYS get 90 days, and second conviction nets 180 days, many of the above Catholics were determined to get arrested scaling the 8 foot temporary fencing, and falling into the arms of MP's and deputized soldiers.  The "lucky" ones would be those pulled off the fence by the consortium of GA State & local cops.

 

Plenty of your Garden Variety "youth culture" types from AFSC (Quakers) & your local Piercing Parlor Franchise joined the Catholics in their weird self-flagellation ritual.

 

Makes you wonder how many Protective Custody cells they have in the Chattahoochie County Jail, and the local Fed Joint.  You can bet 80% of these folks couldn't make it in "General Population".  They must get automatic 4.0's for the semester they're locked up for.  I could understand a Ghandi-MLK-Mandela kind of complex, if they would get some kind of ink in AP or Reuters, but nobody outside of Columbus, GA, even hears about them.

 

Hundreds of folks with origins in the same Central & South American nations that the SOA assassins operate in, graced the Main Gate area, joined by Union Leaders & Organizers, and the legal assistance networks who work with witnesses of, and exiles from, the puppet nations.

 

(These folks initially got all worked up when, in '89, a little girl, her Mom, and 6 Jesuit priests were massacred in El Salvador. 19 of the 26 Officers who were found guilty {by the UN} had attended Ft Benning's School of the Americas.  This bad press caused DoD to change SOA's name to The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation {TWHIFSC}, based on the Army principle: "Long Acronym = Short Memory".)

 

Puppetista's, stilt-walkers, face painters, and an amazing assortment of locals who set up their unlicensed food kiosks & BBQ's on their front lawns (and sell at really competitive prices) make the SOA Watch visually appealing.

 

Some folks go for the star power of Martin Sheen-Susan Saranden, and maybe that'll get a PEOPLE, or maybe a US blurb, but the Columbus, GA, reaction is mixed.

 

The Right counters the SOA-W with their "God Bless Ft. Benning" rally, held in a stadium too big for their crowd of 7,500. In broad daylight, Country cornball Lee Greenwood headlined this year.  Hundreds and hundreds of Cub Scouts and Brownies joined 5,000 E-2's & E-3's (who couldn't get a weekend pass) and Greenwood in that great foot stomper, "God Bless The USA".

 

Headline speakers @ the God Bless Ft Benning rally included Brig Gen. Ben Freakly, Ft Benning Commander, and the Mayors of Phenix, Alabama, and Columbus, GA.  All 3 of them thoroughly trashed the commie-pinko priests and nuns, but failed to tell the Brownies & Cubbies about SOA.  A Blackhawk Helicopter landing, and 400 Harley's stimulated and excited the crowd.

 

I went to "Jump School" at Benning 37 years ago, so I had to take a cab to the "on Post" Infantry Museum to pick up some curios, decals, and a mug.  Post access and egress traffic was diverted to the South Gate, 'cuz of the Main Gate 3-day demonstration.

 

Vehicles were stacked up 3 & 4 deep at the four toll booth style "check points" at South Gate, and MP's were checking I.D.'s and occasionally searching trunks, as if looking for terrorists sneaking into the Drive-In movies.

 

Altho I had my black VVAW t-shirt on, w/ logo, and large print letters, the MP's were blinded by the flag in the background of my VA Hospital ID card.  They paid me no mind, but patted down my cab driver, and made him open the trunk.  God Bless Ft Benning.

 

While this VVAW Contact prefers a sharp focus at Demonstrations, rather than the all-over-the-board A.N.S.W.E.R. style gatherings, all 3 of our Down South Contacts went plumb crazy over the venue.

 

Reilly, McCann, & Baxter were really pumped, having so many VVAW, and Vets in General in one place, at once, Down South.  I'll bet, as time passes, Ft Benning will become VVAW's SouthEastern Regional meeting place.  Stand by for their reports.

 

Bill Perry Philly VVAW

 

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 in Iraq.  Send requests to address up top.

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS:

 

 

ATTACK KILLS A TASK FORCE BAGHDAD SOLDIER

 

November 22, 2004 HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND Release Number: 04-11-17C

 

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A Task Force Baghdad Soldier died from wounds sustained in an attack at about 10 p.m. on Nov. 21 in southwestern Baghdad.

 

 

The Death Of Five Marines

 

November 22, 2004 U.S. Department of Defense News Release No. 1200-04

 

The Department of Defense announced today the death of five Marines.

 

Cpl. Bradley T. Arms, 20, of Charlottesville, Va.

 

Lance Cpl. Demarkus D. Brown, 22, of Martinsville, Va.

 

Lance Cpl. Michael A. Downey, 21, of Phoenix, Ariz.

 

Cpl. Joseph J. Heredia, 22, of Santa Maria, Calif.

 

Lance Cpl. Joseph T. Welke, 20, of Rapid City, S.D.

 

Arms and Brown died Nov. 19, as result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.

 

Downey died Nov. 19 at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., from wounds received as a result of enemy action on Nov. 11 in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.

 

Heredia died Nov. 20 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, from wounds received as a result of enemy action on Nov 10 in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.

 

Welke died Nov. 20 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, from wounds received as a result of enemy action on Nov 19 in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.

 

 

Fierce Clashes Renew In Fallujah;

“Substantial” Numbers Of Troops Tied Up There “For Weeks”

 

WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE?

U.S. soldiers, Falluja, November 15, 2004. (Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters)

 

NEAR FALLUJAH, Iraq, Nov. 22 (Xinhuanet) & By Gordon Trowbridge, Army Times staff writer & By Bradley Graham, Washington Post Staff Writer

 

Fierce clashes between US-led forces and defenders of Fallujah renewed Monday Morning as relief teams were struggling to enter the battle-torn central Iraqi city.

 

"Fierce clashes are underway in Jolan, Askari and Shuhadaa neighborhoods," witnesses told Xinhua.

 

Marine officers who briefed reporters Sunday evening said they could not estimate how long it would take to clear the last pockets of resistance.

 

Immense destruction and delays in returning the city to something close to normalcy threaten to further inflame Sunni Muslims already at the heart of the insurgency.

 

The demands of securing Fallujah and overseeing the massive reconstruction effort there -- demands that senior U.S. military officers say are likely to tie up a substantial number of Marines and Army troops for weeks.

 

 

Mercenaries & Security Guards In Gun Battle, One Dead

 

November 22, 2004, 10:00 Reuters

 

An Iraqi was killed and two Britons arrested after a shooting incident in Baghdad today, police at the scene said.

 

Details were confused and sketchy but police said it appeared that members of the Iraqi interior minister's security detail had become involved in a gun battle with the two Britons, who were in an unmarked civilian car.

 

The identity of the dead person was not clear.  A passport shown to reporters at the scene belonged to a British man who also had a security pass for the US embassy in Baghdad. -

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

Panic Time At The Pentagon;

Tanks Pulled Out Of Korea For Iraq

 

11/22/2004 Seoul (VNA)

 

A US army officer in the Republic of Korea (RoK) on Sunday said that the US has begun to withdraw 100 M1A1 tanks from the border area with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and transfer them to Iraq.  [How many tanks have been taken out by the resistance? Who knows.  No info available.]

 

 

Meigs Marine Wounded

 

11-22-2004 By: JOHNNY HUTSELL-ROYSTER Staff Writer, East Tennessee Network

 

DECATUR – Marine Lance Cpl. Brian Passolt of Meigs County was wounded on Nov. 10 during the battle to remove insurgents from Fallujah, Iraq, according to a family friend, Meigs South Elementary School teacher Charles Denton.

 

Passolt reportedly suffered a bullet wound just below the protective Kevlar vest soldiers wear.  The sniper’s bullet struck him in the back and passed on into his stomach and damaged areas of his small intestines.

 

Passolt was taken to Germany for surgery to these organs. He was later transported to the military hospital in Bethesda, Md., arriving around 2 a.m. Thursday.

 

Passolt is the son of Kim DeCamp and the stepson of Guy DeCamp of Meigs County. Passolt is 19 years old and graduated from Meigs County High School in 2003.

 

Family members left Meigs County Thursday morning to go to Bethesda to be with Passolt and obtain more information about his condition.

 

According to Denton, Passolt went into the U.S. Marine Corps with Denton’s own stepson, Joshua Lee.  The two Marines graduated from boot camp together and continued training at Camp LeJuene.  When Lee received knee injuries during training, he received a medical discharge and came home, but Passolt was deployed to Iraq.

 

“Joshua is upset because he wasn’t with his friend in Fallujah,” Denton said. “He told me, ‘I should have been there.’”

 

 

Fort Smith Soldier Wounded In Iraq Explosion

 

November 22, 2004 FORT SMITH, Ark., KHBS

 

A Fort Smith soldier was left with sharp metal, glass and debris lodged in the left side of his face after an explosion in Baghdad, 40/29 learned Sunday.

 

Spc. Craig Mitchell, 34, and three other soldiers were conducting a check of a Baghdad neighborhood last week, when they drove into an exploding land mine.

 

His parents said they are concerned that Mitchell may lose vision in his left eye. However, they said they are remaining optimistic and are happy that their son and the others in the Humvee are still alive.

 

 

Area Soldier Injured In Combat

 

November 20 & 21 By Linda Martz, News Journal

 

U.S. Army Spec. Thomas F. Pursley, 22, was hit by mortar fire, losing a lot of blood after taking shrapnel in his buttock, leg and neck, his mother, Mary L. Pursley of Crestline, said Saturday.

 

“It scared him pretty bad,” but he is now out of the hospital, on crutches, she said.  While he has no feeling in some parts of his body, doctors assured her son that will come back.

 

Pursley had returned to Iraq after being in Germany Oct. 5-26 with his wife, who gave birth to their child Oct. 15.

 

His unit, in the first division infantry, had returned from a mission where vehicles were hit by a landmine but undamaged.  They were getting ready to go out on another mission shortly, she said.

 

Spec. Pursley, gunner for the lead humvee, wrote that “We finished eating and were standing in front of the CMOC main entrance to our rooms, outside, and that’s when I heard, ‘boom,’ a flash of light and deafening sound,” he wrote in his e-mail.

 

"I fell and laid bleeding, but I am going into no further detail, but want you all to know that one of my good friends, Pfc. Steve Toth of Pittsburgh saved my life.  I was bleeding very badly and he came out of his bunker and pulled me to safety while mortars were still falling.  When I arrived at Warhorse I had to receive a blood transfusion of O+ in order to stay alive," he wrote.

 

"It was a very close call and yes I almost died, I am not trying to worry anyone, but the truth is better than lies.  When they came to pick me up at Warhorse today, my whole platoon was there and lined up one by one to hug me and almost all of them cried, my Sergeant Major came and shook my hand and even hugged me."

 

"I am telling you all here and now that I am OK, and my platoon was damaged severely, but I have never felt so good about all the friends and people that cared about me so much, that were not blood," he wrote.

 

Mary Pursley said five Army soldiers stepped outside the building, and the mortar fire landed within 10 feet of her son.

 

 

WMass Man Wounded In Fallujah Fight;

"Just Being In Iraq Now Is Not Too Good."

 

November 21, 2004 By PATRICK JOHNSON, The Republican

 

SOUTH HADLEY - A 20-year-old South Hadley man serving with the U.S. Marines in Iraq was seriously wounded during ground fighting in Fallujah, Iraq, the longtime insurgent stronghold captured last week by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, his father said yesterday.

 

Lance Cpl. Michael D. Daly and six other Marines of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment were injured by an explosion while they searched a house in the Iraqi city, said his father, David E. Daly, District 1 fire chief for South Hadley.

 

"They're not sure if it was a booby trap or if it was a hand grenade and someone threw it," David Daly said. "There were seven of them and every one of them got hit by bits of metal."

 

At the naval hospital there he underwent four surgeries to remove shrapnel, and more may be needed, Daly said.

 

Daly said he was frightened when he learned his son was injured, but is happy Michael is back in the United States.

 

"I knew he was in Fallujah, and that's not too good," he said.  "Just being in Iraq now is not too good."  Michael Daly has been stationed in Iraq for five months.  He joined the Marines 13 months ago.

 

 

THIS IS HOW BUSH BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME

U.S. Army personnel receive an American soldier with shrapnel wounds to the head at the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad Nov. 15, 2004. (AP Photo / John Moore)

 

 

The Peace Bubble

 

November 20, 2004 WorldNow and KLFY

 

From his hospital bed, he describes the experience of entering and securing a Fallujah building, before he felt the pain of being shot.

 

It was Tuesday November 15 when Sergeant Castille and his team of Marines noticed a group of fellow Marines pinned inside a building.

 

Sgt. Mark Castille: Me and two other guys on my team went over to the building next to us...climbed the roof of the adjacent building, jumped from that roof to the building that we needed to get into...cleared from the top down...

 

Sergeant Castille says once inside, they rescued the Marines, but that's when an insurgent began firing.

 

Sgt. Mark Castille: One of my team members tried to go into the room after throwing a fried grenade and the guy starting shooting up the door...

 

With one of his men hit, Sergeant Castille and another Marine went around the back of the building and tossed another grenade inside.

 

Sgt. Mark Castille: After it exploded, I went back to see if he was still alive and he started shooting back again so I couldn't throw another one and I came around the front trying to communicate with some of the other marines.  I flashed my light at one of them. As soon as I did, he popped the corner and shot me in the arm..

 

Mark says his comrades got him out of the building.  Less than 24 hours later, he was airlifted out of Iraq to Landstul Medical Center in Germany.  From there, he was taken to Maryland and then to the place where he is based: Camp Pendleton, California.

 

Mark's wife, to whom he had to say good-bye to less than two weeks after they were married, is at his side. Mark says he's resting and awaiting a major surgery on Monday.

 

The young Marine shared one light moment we wanted to pass on to you.

 

Sgt. Mark Castille: All my buddies tease me because they say I have a peace bubble because any time we'd go anywhere, our team would be the only ones not to shoot our guns or have any kind of contact.  It was almost like I was their safety bubble. Anytime I rode along, it would be safe and well, that day I guess my peace bubble broke, but I keep on saying that the spirit shield held on because I only got shot in the arm...

 

 

Ex-DAFB Commander Says Troops Used As Guinea Pigs

Anthrax Vaccine Had Deadly Additive,

Pentagon Caught Lying About It

 

10/10/2004 By LEE WILLIAMS and HIRAN RATNAYAKE, The News Journal

 

Tammy Hull and her husband, John Salzano, blame their ill health on the vaccine they were ordered to take.

 

 

A former Dover Air Force Base commander says military officials used his troops as guinea pigs in illegal medical experiments under the government's controversial anthrax vaccination program.

 

After some of his troops in their 20s and 30s began developing arthritis, neurological problems, memory loss and incapacitating migraine headaches, Col. Felix Grieder took a drastic step.  In 1999, he halted the vaccination program in Dover, a move he said ended his military career.  The decorated Air Force colonel has spent the past five years trying to discover the truth about the vaccine program in Dover, where he commanded 4,000 troops.

 

"In my opinion, there was illegal medical experimentation going on," says Grieder, who lives in Texas.

 

Grieder has interviewed scores of his former pilots and crew who say they have had life-altering reactions to the vaccine.

 

"They would have no reason to lie. I believed them," he recalls. "I wanted to talk to them face to face."

 

Dover is now ground zero in the controversy because troops there were injected with anthrax vaccine containing squalene, a fat-like substance that occurs naturally in the body.  Squalene boosts a vaccine's effect, but some scientists say injecting even trace amounts of it into the body can cause serious illness.

 

Government officials have acknowledged that the Department of Defense secretly tested squalene on human beings in Thailand.  Grieder believes they did the same in Dover.

 

In a March 1999 report, the General Accounting Office accused the Defense Department of a "pattern of deception" and said the military confirmed human tests involving squalene only after investigators found out about them.

 

The Department of Defense says vaccine sent to Dover was accidentally contaminated with squalene.  Grieder and other officers believe, however, that it was intentionally introduced to test pilots and crew in Dover.

 

A News Journal investigation raises significant questions about the military's denials and the safety of the vaccine:

 

  Of the first 50 batches of vaccine distributed worldwide for the mandatory inoculations, only five contained squalene - and those were all shipped to Dover.  After denying for more than a year that there was squalene in the vaccinations given at Dover, the Air Force admitted in 2000 that it had been wrong.

 

 

Lt. Col. Jay Lacklen is convinced that squalene in the anthrax vaccine is responsible for the lumps on the joints of his fingers. He fights constant pain.

 

 

The five batches of vaccine sent to Dover contained increasing concentrations of squalene, Food and Drug Administration tests show.  Some scientists say the pattern of squalene concentration could indicate that the military was measuring the troops' response to different dosages.  Professor Dave Smith, a microbiologist at the University of Delaware, is one: "I'm certainly not saying they did or didn't do it. But you have to ask yourself, if you have five data points like that, what are the odds of that happening?"

 

  The Defense Department has rejected the evidence that the vaccine ever contained squalene.  It has steadfastly contended that FDA technicians introduced squalene into the vaccine test via a "dirty fingerprint."  The FDA has refused to explain its laboratory procedures for the tests.  The military has never retested its stockpile of vaccine for squalene, claiming that, even if the amounts of squalene detected by the FDA were accurate, the concentrations were too low to affect human health. The department continues to require the vaccination for all military personnel - active duty, reserve and National Guard.

 

  Tulane University professor Robert Garry testified before Congress that even trace amounts of squalene injected into the human body suppress the immune system.  In an interview with The News Journal, he said the body's response can cause some young and middle-age people to get illnesses normally associated with aging.

 

  Tulane University professor Pamela Asa and Baylor College of Medicine professor Dorothy Lewis have concluded that squalene's possible links to serious human illnesses should be studied further.  The military has dismissed Asa's studies as inconclusive, although it has conducted no follow-up research on the health effects of squalene.

 

Military and international law expressly forbid experiments on troops without their informed consent.  Federal law prohibits the testing of any drugs on human beings without approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

 

The military has generally refused to discuss details about the Dover vaccine that contained squalene.  Air Force officials in Dover recently directed troops not to discuss their experiences with reporters. The News Journal spoke to dozens of Air Force pilots and crew members, but only a handful were willing to come forward publicly.

 

Military personnel said they were afraid they could face a court-martial for speaking publicly because it would violate an order to keep silent.  Former military personnel, many of whom have taken jobs with commercial airlines, said they could lose their jobs if the extent of their illnesses became known.

 

Some civilian experts say squalene suppresses the immune system so that people predisposed to specific illnesses can get sick years earlier than normal. Some young troops have reported illnesses usually seen by people in their 60s and 70s.

 

One Dover pilot, who received at least one injection with squalene, said he is able to function only by taking painkillers every day.

 

"Without my meds, I can't shower or feed myself. I'm non-functional," he said. "Without my meds, I curl up into a fetal ball."

 

The FDA gave limited approval for the Defense Department to test vaccines boosted with squalene during the 1990s.  The results of those tests are confidential. But the FDA has not given final approval for human use in the United States.

 

Asa voiced concerns about the possibility of squalene in anthrax vaccine as early as 1994.  In August 1997, retired Vice Adm. Harold M. Koenig, then surgeon general of the Navy, said his office began receiving inquiries about the danger of the anthrax vaccine.

 

"I sent a request to the Army to ask for information, and they said there had been squalene in trace amounts in vaccines for a long, long time," Koenig said.

 

That same year, Asa and Tulane University researchers Yan Cao and Garry tested the blood of 56 patients, most suffering with symptoms, and found that most of the samples had antibodies - proteins produced by the immune system to fight harmful foreign substances - to squalene.  Their research, published in February 2000 in the journal Experimental and Molecular Pathology, concluded that even trace amounts of squalene could cause autoimmune disorders.

 

In April 1999, as word of Asa's work spread, Grieder asked the Pentagon to brief him and his pilots.  The Air Force sent a lieutenant colonel to Dover, but the briefing wasn't well received.

 

"The guy made just ridiculous comments," Grieder said.

 

Retired Lt. Col. Jay Lacklen, one of Grieder's former pilots who attended the briefing, said, "At one point, responding to a question about the vaccine, this lieutenant colonel from the Pentagon told all of us, 'I don't know and I don't care.' "

 

Midway through the briefing, Grieder stood up, interrupted the Pentagon staffer and announced that he had decided to halt the anthrax vaccination program for all personnel under his command.

 

After hearing him out, the Air Force assembled a blue-ribbon panel of briefers, headed by Lt. Gen. Charles Roadman, then the surgeon general of the Air Force.

 

In May 1999, Roadman brought a team of civilian and military medical experts to Dover, including experts from the Army's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, the military's bio-weapons research center at Fort Detrick, Md.

 

Roadman began his briefing encouraging those packed into the room to trust the Air Force.

 

He then turned to the issue of squalene, the real reason for the packed room.

 

"Let me say this as succinctly as I can: There is not, there never has been squalene as an adjuvant in the anthrax immunization - period," said Roadman. He said two of the five batches sent to Dover had been tested and no squalene was detected.

 

In October 2000, the FDA announced it had found squalene in all five batches of vaccine sent to Dover - the lots Roadman said were safe.

 

Grieder, who was already in a new job at the Pentagon and realizing that his Air Force career was over, said he knew then that he and his troops had been deceived.  After retiring the following year, he has devoted himself to finding out why.

 

Now Grieder says he knows: "It appears illegal medical experiments were foisted upon us."

 

When pressed about Grieder's allegations, official spokespersons up and down the chain of command referred questions to others, refused to comment or issued blanket denials.

 

Maj. Cheryl Law, the public affairs chief at Dover Air Force Base, referred questions to the Defense Department. Law also sent an e-mail to every first-sergeant, group commander, squadron commander, public affairs officer and division chief on the base, warning them not to talk with a News Journal reporter.

 

Numerous studies on the effect of squalene on laboratory rodents suggest that the substance suppresses the immune system. The Defense Department has refused to release the results of human tests of vaccines boosted by squalene conducted in the 1990s.

 

Despite the official denials, some military physicians have concluded that the Dover vaccine harmed some servicemen and servicewomen.

 

The medical records of a Dover pilot, who feared for his career if his name was used in this story, show that several military physicians linked his advanced arthritis to the vaccine.

 

"The symptoms began after anthrax immunization, and are in line of duty," the records say. The pilot's records also reveal the presence of an antigen associated with autoimmune disorders.

 

Several members of the military brought their concerns to Congress in July 1999, during testimony before the House Committee on Government Reform's Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs and International Relations.

 

Capt. Michelle Piel was a C-5 Galaxy pilot stationed at Dover.

 

"All my life I've wanted to fly and serve my country to the best of my ability," she told the subcommittee.

 

Piel became ill after her first two injections with the vaccine.  Her arm grew numb, the right side of her head filled with fluid, and she was grounded because of dizziness.

 

She testified the dizziness progressed to the point where she was unable to drive, read or concentrate.  She was so tired she slept most of the day, and was unable to keep food down.

 

A total of 12 military and civilian physicians were unable to diagnose her illness.  Months later, when a lump was removed from her breast, her symptoms worsened.

 

"There is no way that I know of to prove that the anthrax vaccine caused any of this," she told the subcommittee. "All I can say is that I became uncharacteristically ill after I started taking the anthrax shots."

 

Lt. Richard Rovet worked at Dover's Flight Medicine Clinic, where his duties included nursing, case management and patient advocacy.

 

Rovet described to the subcommittee the adverse reactions to the vaccine he had seen in patients at the clinic.

 

The symptoms included memory impairment, dizziness, ringing in the ears, joint pain, muscle pain, numbness in various parts of the body, miscarriage, cardiac problems, swollen testicles, hypothyroidism, chills, fever, rashes, photosensitivity and constant fatigue.

 

"We have been told time after time that the vaccine is entirely safe, yet there is a disparity between what we are told and what we are seeing," Rovet said.

 

The military's anthrax Web site claims the vaccine is safe, because "The Food and Drug Administration individually approves each lot before release."

 

But FDA documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the FDA no longer tests the lots for squalene.  Grabenstein said testing for squalene is not necessary.

 

"We have looked at 30 some lots, and found it at levels below the level in the human bloodstream," he said. (A lot includes 1.8 million doses of vaccine.)  "It would achieve nothing in science to go looking for this chemical already in your bloodstream."

 

That opinion was not shared by Rep. Metcalf, who conducted a three-year investigation into the anthrax vaccine.

 

Metcalf's investigation revealed "that squalene, a substance in unapproved adjuvant formulations, was found in the anthrax vaccine in amounts that could boost immune response - raising the possibility that squalene was used in inoculations given to Gulf War-era vets.  GAO science investigators have documented concerns regarding the use of novel adjuvant formulations in vaccines, including squalene."

 

Metcalf's report cites Defense Department "stonewalling" and characterizations from GAO investigators that accused the Defense Department of instituting "a pattern of deception."

 

The GAO investigators reported a reluctance by the Defense Department to admit it had conducted five clinical trials with squalene, and had plans for one more.

 

"In fact, in most cases they only admitted to conducting research after we had discovered it in public records," Metcalf's report states. "On three occasions people attending the conference did not report their own research with squalene adjuvants."

 

Metcalf and the GAO found that the Defense Department experimented with adjuvants "to use fewer inoculations, get a better response and to check unconquered antigens."

 

In March 1999, the GAO presented its report and called on the Defense Department to conduct research that would reveal whether Gulf War veterans had squalene in their blood.

 

The department accused the GAO of being "scientifically and fiscally irresponsible."

 

Six months later, Metcalf sent a letter to then-Secretary of Defense William Cohen, calling on him to comply with the GAO recommendations.  Metcalf also called on the Defense Department to track down the source of squalene in the vaccine.

 

The Defense Department never complied.

 

The Uniform Code of Military Justice specifies that military personnel have no right to refuse a lawful order. Military judges have ruled that the order requiring service members to take the anthrax vaccine is lawful.

 

Phil Cave, a Virginia-based defense attorney, has represented three service members who have refused to take the anthrax vaccine.

 

"The issue of whether the Defense Department can do this is pretty well resolved by the courts," Cave said. "I have to tell them the law considers it a lawful order. If they refuse, they risk prosecution, discharge and jail."

 

Cave was successful at lessening the punishment in his three cases. Two received minor admonishments. One lost rank and pay.

 

Other personnel haven't been as lucky. Several anthrax refusers have received dishonorable discharges coupled with several months of confinement.

 

Many of the military personnel interviewed for this story said they were forced to choose between their health and their career. Cave said the likelihood of military punishment is significant for those who refuse vaccination.

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER

Telling the truth - about the occupation, the cuts to veterans’ benefits, or the dangers of depleted uranium - is the first reason Traveling Soldier is necessary.  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)

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Export Pipeline Explosion

 

November 22, 2004 Energy Security & Reuters, BAGHDAD,

 

An oil pipeline explosion in southern Iraq cut flows to the main export outlet of Basra by at least 750,000 barrels per day on Monday, an oil industry official said.

 

The blast at around 9 a.m. stopped supplies through the 42 inch southern oil export pipelines, the source said.  One million bpd was still flowing through the other pipeline to the Basra Oil Terminal, the source added.

 

"There is no impact yet. It will take a bit of time," a shipping agent in the region said. Loading rates at Basra were near full capacity at 77,000 barrels per hour, equivalent to 1.8 million barrels per day.

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

"Because things are the way they are, they can't stay the way they are."

-socialist Bertoldt Brecht

 

 

Iraq = Vietnam. Misinterpreting The Metaphor

 

From: 21 November 2004 William Bowles.  Full article at: www.williambowles.info/

 

I think it's absolutely critical for the Left to disabuse itself of the notion that current US policy under Bush is fundamentally different than that of past administrations, for in reality what has happened is that two different periods of US imperialist policy are now conjoined.

 

The first, represented by Elliot Abrams, John Bolton, Richard Armitage, Otto Reich, Henry Kissinger et al, the key players in Reagan's 'low intensity war' policy in Central America have joined with those who are aligned with a revanchist Israeli right, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith et al.  The proof of the pudding as they say, is in the eating, for these two groups make up the core of the Bush foreign policy team.  The common ground between them is Iran and Israel (read Iran/contra).  As ever, let history be our guide!

 

The first step then is to move beyond an emotive and subjective response that labels Bush as a 'fascist', for if Bush is to be labeled as a fascist, what did that make Reagan and Nixon?

 

For the reality is an imperialism unleashed but an economy in peril with a falling dollar, a vast foreign debt, increasing competition from countries like China (and the EU if it can get its act together) in short, a capitalism in a dire crisis of over-accumulation that has reverted to a time before the post-WWII period, for who can argue that the existence of a Soviet Union that possessed nuclear parity curbed the ambitions of the US, forcing it to put aside intra-capitalist rivalries in order to 'take care of the Reds first?

 

For the Left, this means disabusing itself of the fantasy of a 'liberal' alternative to Bush in the form of the Democratic Party and a recognition that what Bush represents is what has always been the guts of US policy……

 

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.

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

The Mind Of A Imperial Drooling Idiot

(This Is NOT A Satire)

 

2004-11-18 By Sam Dagher - MOSUL, Iraq, Middle East Online

 

Passage over all of the city's five bridges across the Tigris has been barred with concrete blocks and barbed wire since Tuesday, with US troops also deployed on all crossings.

 

US military commanders say such measures and their strong presence on the streets are temporary until a revamped Iraqi police force is able to stand on its feet again.

 

"It's like teaching your child to sleep in a room by himself," said Lieutenant Colonel Michael Kurilla. 

 

"If they call and say there's a monster in their room, you come back and say it's fine."

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

Secrecy Blankets Fates Of Dead U.S. Mercenaries;

Families Abandoned

 

Nov. 21, 2004 By DAVID IVANOVICH, Houston Chronicle

 

WASHINGTON --Halliburton Co. truck drivers Tim Bell and Bill Bradley disappeared April 9 when their convoy was attacked west of Baghdad.

 

Did they die at the scene? Were they captured? Is there reason for hope?

 

No one will say.

 

Like those of many contractors caught in the violence of Iraq, their fates are shrouded in mystery.

 

The Army has conducted an investigation into the ambush, but the report is classified. Pentagon officials refused to discuss its contents, directing questions to Halliburton. The company referred questions back to the Pentagon.

 

"We have done everything in our power to find information and found that we are hitting a brick wall," Bradley's family wrote in an e-mail to the Houston Chronicle.

 

"We are crushed."

 

The military has turned heavily to private contractors to supplement the work of enlisted personnel, freeing military troops for combat.  For pay of $80,000 or more, civilians go to Iraq to drive trucks, build bases, deliver mail and serve chow.  They live on base, eat in the mess hall, shop at the PX.

 

And just like soldiers, they are attacked, abducted and sometimes killed.

 

When a U.S. soldier or Marine is killed in Iraq, the Pentagon provides to the public the individual's name, age and hometown, as well as a brief description of the cause of death.

 

When it comes to contractor casualties, the Pentagon has left it up to the company to report -- or not.

 

And the response has been mostly not.

 

At least 55 Halliburton employees and subcontractors have been killed and more than 100 others wounded in Iraq and Kuwait, according to the company.  Other companies won't say how many of their workers are dead or injured, and the Pentagon isn't keeping track.

 

What kind of search is being done for Bell and Bradley is unclear.

 

"Nobody seems to know what's going on," said Bell's sister, Felicia Carter of Mobile, Ala.

 

When a contract worker is injured in an attack, the military provides urgent medical care, evacuates the victim out of Iraq for hospitalization when necessary and transports the remains of slain workers back home for burial.

 

But the Pentagon insists it doesn't know how many contractors have been killed.

 

Larry Makinson, a senior fellow at the Center for Public Integrity, a government watchdog group in Washington, said the Pentagon likes it that way.

 

"They were afraid of turning this into another Vietnam," Makinson said.  "They know what it's like to see casualty figures day after day.  The reliance on civilian contractors in Iraq is really a different variation on the same theme that led the Pentagon to ban taking photographs of flag-draped coffins."

 

Exactly how many Americans are working as contractors in Iraq also remains unclear.

 

The Pentagon has long had trouble counting contract workers. Dan Guttman, a government contracting expert and consultant for the Center for Public Integrity, points to a 2002 Army estimate that said there were somewhere between 124,000 and 605,000 contractors.

 

The upper end of that range is comparable to the population of Wyoming.

 

San Francisco's Bechtel and Pasadena, Calif.-based Parsons Group won't say whether they've had casualties in Iraq.  The San Francisco Chronicle, however, has identified three Bechtel casualties.

 

Some security subcontractors for the Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based company have been killed, but company spokesman Jerry Holloway could not say how many or under what circumstances.

 

Because of the information vacuum, little is known about how the majority of contractors have died.

 

As of early April, Halliburton revealed 12 of its workers had been killed.  By April 20, that figure had jumped to 33.

 

Details of what happened to the remaining 21 killed between April 2 and April 20 are unclear.  Another 13 workers have been killed in the last four months.  Only four have been publicly identified.

 

Though many families prefer to grieve in private, others have been eager to ensure that their loved ones receive public recognition.

 

Felipe E. Lugo III, 36, died in a mortar attack Oct. 19 while working on a military base near central Baghdad.  His wife, Lisa Bailey-Lugo, asked the company to issue a news release in his honor.

 

"President Bush said no one would be forgotten," Bailey-Lugo said this week after a memorial service for her husband. " I don't want him -- or anybody else who has already died -- forgotten."

 

 

Head Of US-Funded Anti-Iraqi TV Resigns:

Condemns Occupations’ Grip On Money

 

Nov 18 BAGHDAD (AFP)

 

The head of Iraq's US-funded television network resigned, claiming he had no control over the channel's management and that the budget was being wasted on buying costly foreign programs while salaries were not being paid.

 

Jalal al-Mashta was appointed as general director of Al-Iraqiya television in May.

 

Earlier in the year, the now-defunct US-led administration in Iraq had handed out contracts for running the station to the US company Harris Corp., Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International and the Kuwaiti firm, Al-Fawaris.

 

"The Iraqi side still has no idea on how money is being spent. When we ask, the only answer we get is that Harris is dealing only with the US Defense Department while it is all Iraqi money," he said at a press conference.

 

He charged that the network's budget was being wasted on costly foreign programs and that the sub-contracting process had left no room for local know-how.

 

Al-Mashta cited the LBCI's "Al-Mumayazun" Game Show which is costing Al-Iraqiya 28,000 dollars per show, while he estimated that a similar program could be shot in Iraq for around 3,000 dollars.

 

"The fact is that the government is not paying a penny to the network, despite the fact that I talked to officials about that more than once.  I didn't receive my salary for five consecutive months," he also complained.

 

"This means more Iraqi money will be spent in vain instead of being spent on building the country.  It also means that Iraqi skills are being treated with contempt," he added to explain his resignation.

 

 

 

OCCUPATION HAITI

 

 

November 17, 2004 By John J. Lumpkin, Associated Press

 

QUITO, Ecuador — American officials are praising the Brazil-led mission in Haiti as an example of beneficial security cooperation among Latin American countries, even as the U.N. operation faces criticism for not doing enough to secure Haiti. 

 

Besides Brazil, the Haiti mission draws soldiers and police from Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Guatemala, Ecuador, Bolivia and several countries from outside Latin America, including China.

 

Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina are considering sending more troops, the American official said.

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

Indiana Congressman John Hostettler plans to put forth a bill in Congress to change Interstate Route 69 to a more moral number.

 

 

REALITY SHOW CONTESTANTS TO COMPETE FOR FLU SHOT

 

November 21, 2004 The Borowitz Report

 

The stakes in the reality show world just got a little higher, as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today that it would produce a new television program in which the winning contestant receives the ultimate prize: a flu shot.

 

In announcing the new program, which has already attracted thousands of wannabe contestants, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said, "Rather than sitting around whining about not having enough flu shots, we were like, this could be an awesome show."

 

Calling the program "a cross between 'Survivor' and 'The Apprentice,'" Secretary Thompson said that the contestants will perform tasks in the Oval Office at the behest of President George W. Bush, who will eliminate a contestant each week with the following parting shot: "If you want a flu shot, try Canada, loser."

 

Describing the tasks, Secretary Thompson said, "They will mainly be reading Presidential Daily Briefings and other junk that the president doesn't want to look at."

 

In other health news, reports that Vice President Dick Cheney's recent shortness of breath was caused by heart trouble rather than a common cold were based on "faulty intelligence," a CIA spokesman acknowledged today.

 

Vice President Cheney was mistakenly rushed to the hospital after the CIA produced a memo suggesting that the threat to his health was "imminent."

 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

Soldier Wounded In Firefight

 

November 22, 2004 By Stephen Graham, Associated Press

 

KABUL, Afghanistan — Militants detonated a bomb near a U.S. patrol in eastern Afghanistan Monday, injuring one American soldier and sparking a gunbattle in which one insurgent died, the military said.

 

The skirmish occurred near Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, where weekend American raids on suspected al-Qaida compounds left four people dead.

 

Gunmen opened fire on the patrol after the detonation of the homemade bomb, a military statement said.

 

The military said another bomb exploded near a patrol in neighboring Paktia province, damaging one vehicle but injuring no one.

 

 

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