Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"Baiting" Is it legal?

When I first heard this story break, my first thoughts were like Abu Grahib, the peons were going to get shit on while the head cheese who authorized this program are going to skate free. More low ranking "troops" will go to prison for following orders. But as a NCO, I was trained to disobey illegal orders.

If you accept an illegal order, then you ARE guilty. I am sorry if it is illegal to "bait"shrimp in South Carolina, then any soldier should know it's illegal to shoot someone just for picking something up just because it's laying on the ground, especially since you are the one who put it there, KNOWING you are going to blow them away for picking it up. Bottom line it's a CRIME.

In this mornings Seattle Times this article goes into some of the details of the program that is supposed to have come from the Pentagon, a new office called the "Asymetric Warfare Group" unlike the program at Abu Grahib where it is surmised that Major General Miller brought to Iraq from Gitmo and the trail was never followed to the Pentagon. Leaving only the enlisted men and women to pay the price of torturing detainees in American detention, none of the people responsible for authorizing these reprehensible acts were ever held accountable.

I have no sympathy for the officers and NCO's of these units that accpeted these illegal "orders" or suggestions" on battlefield techniques, they need to be prosecuted as well as the soldiers that carried out these "bait" and murder missions.

The excuse that I was ordered to do it, is no more acceptable now than it was during the Nuremberg Trials in the late 40's. I hate relating anything to WW2 Germany, but unfortunately our military is not exactly clean in carrying out civilian approved illegal war crimes.

I am deeply saddened by the military, where I spent most of my adult life serving, has allowed itself to be used in the manner this administration has used and abused it. But it is time for the professional Officers and NCO's to keep their oaths to uphold the Constitution of the United States against all enemies "foreign and domestic" they have a duty to report "illegal orders" to their chain of command, and if they cI am deeply saddened by the military, where I spent most of my adult life serving, has allowed itself to be used in the manner this administration has used and abused it. But it is time for the professional Officers and NCO's to keep their oaths to uphold the Constitution of the United States against all enemies "foreign and domestic" they have a duty to report "illegal orders" to their chain of command, and if they carry out thse illegal orders, then they deserve to be prosecuted.

A Pentagon group has encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents who pick up scattered pieces of "bait," such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, a tactic that allegedly led to the killings of Iraqis, according to military court documents.

The classified program was described in investigative documents related to recently filed murder charges against three snipers who are accused of planting evidence on Iraqis they killed.

"Baiting is putting an object out there that we know they will use, with the intention of destroying the enemy," said Capt. Matthew P. Didier, the leader of an elite sniper scout platoon attached to the 1st Battalion of the 501st Infantry Regiment, in a sworn statement. "Basically, we would put an item out there and watch it. If someone found the item, picked it up and attempted to leave with the item, we would engage the individual as I saw this as a sign they would use the item against U.S. forces."

Friday, May 18, 2007

Ian Urbina NY Times article on Sarin gas


Gas May Have Harmed Troops, Scientists Say
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Published: May 17, 2007
WASHINGTON, May 16 — Scientists working with the Defense Department have found evidence that a low-level exposure to sarin nerve gas — the kind experienced by more than 100,000 American troops in the Persian Gulf war of 1991 — could have caused lasting brain deficits in former service members.

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Rick Friedman for The New York Times
Roberta F. White of Boston University led the study of sarin nerve gas, which used new scanning technology.

Possible Sarin Exposure in Iraq, 1991 Though the results are preliminary, the study is notable for being financed by the federal government and for being the first to make use of a detailed analysis of sarin exposure performed by the Pentagon, based on wind patterns and plume size.

The report, to be published in the June issue of the journal NeuroToxicology, found apparent changes in the brain’s connective tissue — its so-called white matter — in soldiers exposed to the gas. The extent of the brain changes — less white matter and slightly larger brain cavities — corresponded to the extent of exposure, the study found.

Previous studies had suggested that exposure affected the brain in some neural regions, but the evidence was not convincing to many scientists. The new report is likely to revive the long-debated question of why so many troops returned from that war with unexplained physical problems. Many in the scientific community have questioned whether the so-called gulf war illnesses have a physiological basis, and far more research will have to be done before it is known whether those illnesses can be traced to exposure to sarin. The long-term effects of sarin on the brain are still not well understood.

But several lawmakers who were briefed on the study say the Department of Veterans Affairs is now obligated to provide increased neurological care to veterans who may have been exposed.

In March 1991, a few days after the end of the gulf war, American soldiers exploded two large caches of ammunition and missiles in Khamisiyah, Iraq. Some of the missiles contained the dangerous nerve gases sarin and cyclosarin. Based on wind patterns and the size of the plume, the Department of Defense has estimated that more than 100,000 American troops may have been exposed to at least small amounts of the gases.

When the roughly 700,000 deployed troops returned home, about one in seven began experiencing a mysterious set of ailments, often called gulf war illnesses, with problems including persistent fatigue, chronic headaches, joint pain and nausea. Those symptoms persist today for more than 150,000 of them, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than the number of troops exposed to the gases.

Advocates for veterans have argued for more than a decade and a half that a link exists between many of these symptoms and the exposure that occurred in Khamisiyah, but evidence has been limited.

The study, financed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the first to use Pentagon data on potential exposure levels faced by the troops and magnetic resonance imaging to scan the brains of military personnel in the exposure zone. It found signs of brain changes that could be due to exposure, showing that troops who had been exposed at higher levels had about 5 percent less white matter than those who had little exposure.

White matter volume varies by individual, but studies have shown that significant shrinkage in adulthood can be a sign of damage.

The study was led by Roberta F. White, chairman of the department of environmental health at the Boston University School of Public Health. Dr. White and other researchers studied 26 gulf war veterans, half of whom were exposed to the gases, according to a Defense Department modeling of the likely chemical makeup and location of the plume. The researchers found that troops with greater potential exposure had less white matter.

In a companion study, the researchers also tested 140 troops believed to have experienced differing degrees of exposure to the chemical agents to check their fine motor coordination and found a direct relation between performance level and the level of potential exposure. Individuals who were potentially more exposed to the gases had a deterioration in fine motor skills, performing such tests at a level similar to people 20 years older.

Dr. White says this study and the results of research from other studies provide “converging evidence that some gulf war veterans experienced nervous system damage as a result of service, and this is an important development in explaining gulf war illnesses.”

Phil Budahn, a spokesman for the Department of Veterans Affairs, said the research required further examination.

“It’s important to note that its authors describe the study as inconclusive,” Mr. Budahn said, adding, “It was based upon a small number of participants, who were not randomly chosen.”

Dr. White said she did not describe her study as inconclusive, though she said it would be accurate to call it preliminary.

I have sent the following to Senator Patty Murray's office and the other Edgewood Arsenal Volunteers who have been researching chemical weapons exposures since our use was learned in the late 1990's and early 2000's

To bring everyone up to date on my actions for the past month or so, I have been in contact with Senator Patty Murray's office about the Edgewood veterans and the lack of help from the VA and DOD on the status of claims processing for the many claims we have filed in the past five years.

Many of us have claims either in the system, on appeal or have been partially granted, most of them are granted for reasons other than the experiments or any secondary conditions that may be linked to any of the exposures.

For those of you that are not aware of the 77 toxic substances found in the drinking water, streams and ponds and the soil of the training areas of Edgewood, that were found by the EPA when they did the first assessments for the Superfund projects in 1978, the amount of environmental contamination led the EPA to force the DOD to cap the bases water wells where all the drinking, bathing and personal use water was drawn. The government was then forced to use bottle water and pipe in water from the White Mountains in 1978. The base is one of the most contaminated pieces of real estate the United States owns. Here is the link to the EPA report on EA http://cfpub1.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0300421 this is the list of the 77 known toxins we were exposed to environmentally http://cfpub1.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/ccontinfo.cfm?id=0300421 I have ran them thru the CDC database in Atlanta and they are linked to every known medical problem a persons body can suffer from, if you can name it these chemicals are linked to it from Cancer to hemorrhoids, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, neurological, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular, blood disorders.

There is also this manual published by the VA in October 2003 that deals with all the CBR programs from WW2 thru present which includes both Edgewood Arsenal programs WW2 and the Cold War http://www1.va.gov/vhi/docs/CBR_www.pdf

I obtained a full copy of the 1975 DA IG Report on Human experimentation which led to the closure of the "medvol" program in 1975. I wrote the Office of the Inspector General on the Internet and within 10 days they mailed me a complete copy of the report.

http://archive.gao.gov/t2pbat2/152601.pdf 1994 GAO Report on Human Experiments

http://www.sipri.org/contents/cbwarfare/Publications/pdfs/cw-delayed.pdf a German doctors report on the health of Wermacht soldiers exposed to chemical weapons in WW2 Germany

http://www.ehponline.org/members/1994/102-1/munro-full.html Jan 1994 report on health effects of exposure to Organphosphate weapons GA, GB and VX

http://archive.gao.gov/d37t11/148642.pdf 1993 GAO Report on Secret tests

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04821t.pdf GAO Report on DOD's statements on Gulf War Illness can not be supported

http://mailer.fsu.edu/~cfigley/vets/documents/VAletterRIN2900-AM09.pdf link between PTSD and heart disease accepted by the BVA on appeals for secondary conditions for soldiers with PTSD

http://mailer.fsu.edu/~cfigley/vets/health.html other supporting research on heart disease and PTSD

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04410.pdf page 20 of this GAO report shows that DOD had no intention of finding the 7120 men of Edgewood until the Bush Administration left office in 2009, despite the fact they knew where we were based on the data gathered in FY2000 for the March 2003 IOM Sarin Report

I have asked Senator Murray and Congressman John Hall Chairman of the VA Subcommittee on Investigations to look into the way DOD and the VA has treated the Edgewood veterans.

Mike Bailey


"On May 2, after learning about the research, Senators Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, and Christopher S. Bond, Republican of Missouri, wrote the Defense and Veterans Affairs Departments, asking about their plans for outreach and expanded benefits for exposed troops."

I think Senator Murray would be interested in this information as it shows that DOD and the VA have been knowingly lying to her and the Senate since at least March 2003 release of the IOM's Sarin report. But it is more likely before that as they have known of the existence of these chemical weapons studies for years.

This article in today's NY Times shows the tip of what I have been claiming for the past three years the link between known chemical weapons medical problems and the exposures at Kamisayah Iraq in 1991 and the 7120 men of Edgewood Arsenal.

They don't need more government studies there are more than 30 years of them in existence now, from the 1975 SIPRI report based on Wermacht soldiers of WW2 http://www.sipri.org/contents/cbwarfare/Publications/pdfs/cw-delayed.pdf

Then there is the January 1994 National Institute of Health report on Sarin and other nerve agents here http://www.ehponline.org/members/1994/102-1/munro-full.html

The March 2003 IOM report based on the Edgewood veterans by DR William Page ignored these reports as they showed links to cardiovascular problems, neurological, gastrointestinal, an d pulmonary, all of the bodies main systems, the costs for medical care and or compensation to the veterans of the First Gulf War would run into the trillions over the next 6 decades or longer.

I also have the links to GAO reports, DOD reports and VA statements that are just flat lies, not misstatements. But known deliberate misinformation. Mike Bailey 803-739-5749 the Edgewood volunteers are the key to the Gulf War veterans and it is my belief that is why DOD and the VA are deliberately ignoring us here are all the names of the volunteers I am in contact with as of today

Friday, May 11, 2007

Veterans Lament Hurdles at VA Medical Centers and Regional Offices


"It's like running into a brick wall, again

and again and again."

Story here... http://www.forestgrovenewstimes.com/

Story below:


Veterans lament health hurdles

Gathering in Forest Grove highlights obstacles facing soldiers returning from combat

By Walt Wentz
The Forest Grove News-Times,

“It’s like running into a brick wall, again and again and again.”

Kurt Carlsen’s opinion of the Veteran’s Administration echoed that of other speakers at “Supporting the Troops,” a recent panel discussion about the problems facing veterans returning from overseas conflicts.

About 30 people listened and joined in the discussion between veterans, veterans’ spouses and Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs employees, held last Sunday, April 29, in Forest Grove.

Mike Van Dyke, a veteran of the first Gulf War, recalled that his claims for a service injury were at first “rejected every single time I went in– I had to fight.” His paperwork was “lost” for two years in the bureaucracy. “A lot of people just give up, that’s the sad part,” he said.

Jeff Rogers, an Air Force veteran and mental health specialist for Oregon veterans, said it took two years and multiple appeals to get a hearing aid to help him cope with an ear injury he sustained while in service.

Bill Croft, a 21-year veteran of the Coast Guard, recalled the Veteran’s Administration clerk who told him, “Coast Guard? You aren’t a veteran,” and had him escorted out of the building by security guards.

Croft now works as a service officer for the Washington County Veterans Services office and helps ex-servicemen cope with just that sort of official ignorance.

What’s wrong with the Veterans Administration? The problems are many, the speakers agreed. Prior to 9/11, the agency was closing offices and dropping employees because the number of veterans was declining nationwide. Today, with the war in Iraq ramping up and more injured veterans coming home, the agency still hasn’t rebuilt, speakers said.

The VA does not hire many veterans, they said, preferring to hire young people who are less likely to feel camaraderie with applicants.

Many complaints voiced at the forum were about the backlog of claims.

At present, 850,000 claims are facing a delay of up to 180 days. In an effort to reduce the lag to 150 days, speakers said, VA employees find it easier and faster to reject claims than to give them careful consideration.

Croft said he’s seen a lack of consistency in the VA’s decisions. He said he’s seen some veterans’ claims rejected, while the claim of another veteran with similar injuries is accepted.

The Veterans Administration can be reformed, the speakers agreed, but it will take widespread public outrage to start the process.

And, the speakers said, there are other obstacles for returning veterans.

Enlisting out of high school, many vets have no marketable skills.

Carlsen helps young, disabled vets find work through his job at Worksource Oregon, the state employment department. He said some employers take advantage of government incentive funds for providing a year’s employment, then drop their new employees after the money dries up.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), not recognized until recently, imposes a huge burden on veterans and their families. Even today, recalled one audience member, an 83-year-old grandfather, a Navy veteran, suffers terrifying “flashbacks” to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The speakers said that many young, troubled vets come home these days and struggle to reconnect with spouses and young children.

Mina Schoenheit, a mental health counselor on the faculty at Oregon Health and Science University, said the entire community can help hold these young families together with a simple gift of time.

“Young veterans I’ve talked to say they need one-on-one time with their spouses to rekindle the relationship,” she said.

Schoenheit proposed that ordinary people band together as “surrogate grandparents” or “surrogate families” to give an hour or two a week to struggling couples, by providing baby-sitting or chores so that spouses can have some crucial time together.

“This is the missing piece,” she says. “Let’s start locally, and then go globally.”

The April 29 forum was sponsored by the Peace and Conflict Studies program at Pacific University and the West County Council for Human Dignity.


Larry Scott --

Time for VA Colonel to Resign, for the veterans

I would use the word, inflate or exaggerate, except that James Nicholson has a pattern of making blatantly false statements to veterans, reporters, Congressional Representatives and to this nation's Senators. It appears from his numerous statements publicly and on the record that there is nothing he will not distort for the purpose of advancing the Presidents agenda, regardless of how it affects this nations disabled veterans and their families.

Quite frankly the veterans and disabled veterans and their families deserve better from Presidential Appointees, and Senate confirmed Cabinet Officer's. What makes matters worse is that the Veterans Administration is a law unto itself, the Secretary of the VA, can make medical problems service connected by a signature on a piece of paper, as Secretary Principi did for brain tumors for veterans of the first Gulf War, based on the facts of an IOM study published in March 2003. The VA has powers that no other agency has, and has no control except by Congress and the President, they can and do ignore court orders.

What inspired me to write today's column is the report in McClatchy's newspaper, by an investigative reporter Chris Adams, he has spent the past few years doing a lot of work involving the Veterans Affairs, compiling data bases of benefits, compensation, how many veterans per state are disabled and drawing what percentage of compensation. It is his and others from McClatchy's organization that has led to the Illinois review called for by Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama, last year.

This new article deals with the smoke and mirrors of what a "great agency" the VA Colonel has been portraying it for the past few years, since taking the helm from Secretary Anthony Principi. Chris Adams lays the case out here


To prove the quality of the VA's medical care, Nicholson and others - often using identical words to Congress or the news media - repeatedly have cited a study by the nonprofit RAND Corp.

In the last two years:

Nicholson said RAND ranked the overall quality of VA medical care as significantly higher than any other healthcare system in this country.

Dr. Jonathan Perlin, then the top VA health official, said in a radio interview that RAND "compared VA care to 12 other healthcare organizations, some of the best in the country," and found VA superior. Studies such as RAND's showed the agency's care to be "the best that you can get in the country," he said.

Kussman wrote in a statement to McClatchy earlier this year that RAND "recently" reported that veterans "receive better health care than any other patients in America."

The VA's public affairs department wrote in a magazine that the study "was conducted by the RAND Corporation, an independent think tank," as well as researchers from two universities.

As it turns out, the RAND study was neither fully independent nor all that recent. A VA grant helped pay for it. Two of its main authors had received VA career-development awards, and four of its nine listed authors were affiliated with the agency, according to the study's documentation.

It was published in 2004 but used data from 1997 to 1999, when the system treated far fewer patients than it does now.

The study does show that VA patients are more likely than non-VA patients to receive a range of needed tests and procedures. In the eyes of health experts, that's a real achievement; other studies have found similar results.

But Nicholson's claim that the agency performed better than "any other healthcare system in this country" and Perlin's assertion that RAND compared the VA with 12 other healthcare systems are wrong.

The study didn't compare the agency with other systems; it compared patients in the VA with those who weren't.

The non-VA patients were drawn from 12 large metropolitan areas across the country, while VA patients were drawn from two of its 21 regions. The two groups were surveyed with very different methods, and the non-VA sample had a far lower response rate than the VA sample.

Asked about the study, the VA said the agency had partially funded it but that the preponderance of money came from other sources; RAND has a long "reputation for independent evaluation," it said.

The VA did say that Perlin's quote was "partially inaccurate in describing the study," which it chalked up to confusion. It stood by the other statements.

In this article from Playboy of all places is an extensive article on James Nicholson and the VA it is an eye opener and I am sorry I haven't seen it before tonight.

Soon after Nicholson moved
into his new offices, the
VA, like the DOD, began to
aggressively roll back its
support for PTSD. ”

The story written by Mark Boal is long, 10 pages, but it is worth the read.

The government's attitude seems to be having the desired effect of keeping PTSD patients out of the DOD health care system and transferring the caseload burden to Veterans Affairs when the soldiers return home. Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan started, 631,000 people have been discharged from the military, including National Guard and Reserve soldiers who are now deactivated. Of those, 73,000 have sought mental health treatment at the VA.

Critics say the VA, like the DOD, is falling short. A rumor going around the veterans community claims that, even in cases of existing injuries, military doctors are under diagnosing PTSD at military hospitals, preferring instead to use labels that do not entitle the soldier to combat-related compensation. "We've been hearing it all the time from our guys in the field who are working with these Iraq vets," says Joe Violante of Disabled American Veterans. Military doctors "are being told not to diagnose PTSD."

In 2004 leadership changed at the VA. The head of the agency, Anthony Principi, a longtime favorite of veterans groups, resigned. The timing of his resignation was suspect, as it came shortly after he told Congress the agency lacked funds to take care of veterans, and the move was widely interpreted as a firing. Bush replaced Principi with a high-level party operative named James Nicholson. A Republican power broker and a party heavyweight, he chaired the Republican National Committee during the 2000 presidential campaign, when he called Dick Cheney "one of the most qualified, beloved people in America."

Soon after Nicholson moved into his new offices, the VA, like the DOD, began to aggressively roll back its support for PTSD. First, in a move that echoed Burkett's charges, Nicholson ordered an investigation into the files of 72,000 veterans who had received PTSD compensation. Senate Democrats managed to undercut the review. In response, Nicholson commissioned a study at the Institute of Medicine to craft a new definition of PTSD, one more restrictive than that used by the American Psychiatric Association. That too fizzled. Finally, a second study was commissioned to "assess how PTSD compensation might influence beneficiaries' attitudes and behaviors in ways that might serve as barriers to recovery."

This new study from the IOM was released this week after two years of work, it was a critical report, although not the one the Veterans Affairs expected, it did show there are major problems with the diagnosis and compensation ratings across the nation, but not because of anything the veterans are doing, rather it is the fault of the VA Regional Offices and the lack of training for the adjudicators on how to assess and rate the cases for compensation. If this report is accepted as it should be, the implications are that compensation for PTSD will be greatly expanded.

Here is the story from the
VA Watchdog.org about the findings and attached newspaper articles.

The long-awaited IOM study on PTSD compensation is out...and, it's not good news for the VA...but, it could be good news for veterans.

If all the recommendations in this report are implemented, and they probably will NOT be, it would cost the VA billions and give veterans better and more consistent PTSD diagnoses and higher compensation because ratings would be based on how PTSD affects all aspects of a veteran's life, not just the ability to be employed.

At the time I put this together, the report was not posted. If you can't find it at the IOM web site (see press release below) and want a copy, just email me and I'll forward it to you.

We have three stories...first from The Washington Post...second the IOM press release and third an AP story.

can be found here you can read it online for free or you can order it for 33.00 dollars, me I will read it online. I already have most of it.

To sum this up, Congressman Phil Haire has called for Secretary Nicholson to resign, he is a square peg in a round hole and does not have a clue on how to manage the largest healthcare system in the nation, nor manage the claims processing system that this nations disabled veterans depend on. There are an estimated 850,000 compensation claims on appeal in the VA system, either at local Regional Offices, the Board of Veterans Appeals or the Court of Veteran Appeals, many of this nations veterans will die before their claims process is completed, why? In this day of computers why are the claims files still handled the same way they were in 1945, all paper, folders that are measured in feet, not pages.

This is not political, this is just a statement of fact, the time is up for the VA Colonel, James Nicholson, you have proved you are nothing but a party shrill, and quite frankly Sir, this nation deserves better, as a veteran yourself, and an Officer, a Colonel, think of the men under you, the 26 million veterans and their families that deserve good leadership, and you have failed in that, you owe them and the President your resignation.

I ask the Kos Community to take the time today to either write your elected officials, Senators and Congress critters and let them know that we as Americans are fed up with a Cabinet Officer that lies to this nations veterans, their widows and all of the people they are accountable to, it is time for a change at the Veterans Administration and the VA Colonels time is up!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Gul War Vets Need Your Help

Please help us on this action!

All citizens, veterans, veteran family members and friends, employers and
employees can help! Let's make the effort to find research answers for
diagnosis and treatment for gulf war veterans both Operation Desert Storm
(90-91) and our current Operation Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan Enduring
Freedom! It is simple show support by signing petition just sign on the
petition and then exit the site(
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/GulfWarillness/index.html) no
contribution is necessary!
We are using this as just a visual show of support. The Representatives we
are contacting listed below are being made aware of the response to the
petition in our letters and calls to them. We are also notifying media
sources of the responses to the petition when we are approaching them to
follow this issue. So we are using it as a visual demonstration of support!

Yes we have other supporters helping but we need more help with phone calls!
This is not just a one person effort but a combination with service
organizations, you, and civilians.

Then help by using a few minutes to make calls to the Defense Appropriations
Subcommittee Members in DC! Let them know America wants this done! More
follow. Thank You for your help and time
Denise Nichols
Gulf War Veteran Nurse
Specific Directions

Sign the petition
limit comments to appropriations (defense subcommittee) for Congressional
Direct Medical Research on gulf war illness and support for 30 million in
research funds for that in FY08.

The Defense Subcommittee on Defense appropriations (both House and Senate)
have just started this process for FY08.

When making the calls to each office ask for the staffer in charge of
Defense Appropriations!


-The Congressional Direct Medical Research on Gulf War Illness within the
Defense Appropriations got FY06 5 million FY 07 ZERO

We want this in FY 08 at a level of 30 million

- 175,000 Gulf War veterans still suffer from chronic multisymptom illness
related to the 1991 war, according to the latest Department of Veterans
Affairs study

- There are no effective treatments.

- The VA Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses has
found that evidence supports a probable link between exposure to neurotoxins
and the
development of these illnesses.

- Treatments and diagnostic markers identified through the GWVRP would also
serve to protect the health of current and future military personnel and
civilians at risk of similar health effects.

---30% of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom are also
with ill defined conditions/syndrome Source VA document

- A $5 million pilot research program open to all researchers and conducted
by DoD attracted 80 proposals to identify treatments and diagnostic tests in
2006, compared to two treatments studied in the previous fifteen years.

- While $5 million will support only a fraction of these studies, this
response demonstrates the interest of the scientific community in improving
the health of ill Gulf War veterans.

Action requested:

- As Congress appropriates needed billions for the care of those returning
from the current war, we urgently ask that it fund this treatment research
program for ill Gulf War veterans at the $30 million level traditionally
funded by DoD for Gulf War illness research before it was eliminated from
the budget in recent years.


- All major veterans organizations support $30 million funding for the Gulf
War Veterans Illnesses Research Program of the DoD Congressionally Directed
Medical Research Program.

Make the phone calls:


this week here is the contacts for those members:

House Committee Appropriations Defense Subcommittee

John P. Murtha (PA), Chair

David Morrison, Subcommittee Clerk
Room H-149 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2847

David R. Obey, Wisconsin, Chair (202) 225-3365


Jerry Lewis, California, Ranking Member (202) 225-5861

Fax: (202) 225-6498


Chair: John P. Murtha (PA

Norman D. Dicks (WA)
(202) 225-5916 [voice]
(202) 226-1176 [fax]

Peter J. Visclosky (IN)
phone: (202) 225-2461
fax: (202) 225-2493

James P. Moran (VA)
Phone: (202) 225-4376
Fax: (202) 225-0017

Marcy Kaptur (OH)
Tel: (202) 225-4146
Fax: (202) 225-7711

Robert E. Bud Cramer, Jr. (AL)
202-225-4392 Fax

Allen Boyd (FL)
(202) 225-5235
(202) 225-5615 Fax

Steven R. Rothman (NJ)
202-225-5851 fax

Sanford Bishop (GA)
Phone- (202) 225-3631 Fax- (202) 225-2203

Dave Obey (WI), Ex Officio

MINORITY Republicans

Ranking Member:
C.W. Bill Young (FL)

David L. Hobson (OH)
fax 202-225-1984

Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (NJ)
202- 225-5034

Todd Tiahrt (KS)
fax: 202.225.3489

Roger F. Wicker (MS)
202-225-3549 fax

Jack Kingston (GA)
Phone: (202) 225-5831
Fax: (202) 226-2269
Email: Jack.Kingston@mail.house.gov

Jerry Lewis (CA), Ex Officio
(202) 225-5861 Fax: (202) 225-6498

Monday, March 19, 2007

Iraq, the 4th Year ends

What happened to the Vice President's "we will be greeted with flowers and candy"? This will be a short war, and it won't cost more than a billion dollars, can anyone remember the name of the man who was fired for stating that the estimated the cost of the war to be 100 billion dollars? I can't, and even he was wrong with this new supplemental request the cost of the two wars will exceed 500 billion dollars, this year.

There is also no end in sight, there are also the future bills that this war has created that no one is accounting for, what of the tens of thousands of men and women who will require medical care, pyschiatric care and compensation for the next 50-70 years? How many billions of dollars or is that going to hit trillion dollar marks?

What have we done to the Iraqi people while freeing them, how many families have been destroyed in the Neocon ideal for a "free middle east", PNAC got the war they wanted, but I can not for the life of me think even they wanted this to be the end result, unless it was really about no-bid contracts for Hallibutron and other administration friends like IAP Services, SAIC, and other military industrial complex benefactors of the war machine, they only make profits if we are at war. I hope this war was not about money, but it is begginning to see it as any other reason. The "oil contract" with the new Iraqi government seems to benefit American oil companies more than it does the Iraqi people.

The Walter Reed fiasco has shown what privatization has done to building maintenance at our nations premier medical care facility for the wounded, and has now opened the question about the VA medical care facilities. Many of us disabled veterans have known for years the mismanagement of these facilities, and we have been calling our elected officials, Congressmen/women and Senators, seldom is anything done to correct the issues. In 2004 the VA decided to review 72,000 cases of PTSD that had been awarded compensation at either the 70% TDIU rate or the 100% schedular rating, they suspected large cases of fraud. After a few suicides of Vietnam veterans upset about having to reprove or vailadate again the issues which caused their PTSD symptoms some ate bullets or overdosed due to the stress. The VA cancelled the review after Congressional pressure and the initial review of 2100 files showed there was no fraud on the veterans part, all the evidence showed was poor paperwork processing by the VA Regional Offices employees who took short cuts, or failed to put the right papers in the files that verified the veterans "stressor" and Secretary Nicholson ended the witch hunt.

The largest problem remaining today is the months and years it takes for the claims process to approve or deny the claim, many of us know that the VA will approve a claim but instead of the 50% or 70% the PTSD symptoms may warrant the VA first awards 10% or 30% to see if the veteran will be satisfied the the lower amount, and not file any appeals, then if the veterans have a piss poor Service Officer, they will tell them they should be grateful for the 10 or 30% and shut up. I know this because when I was awarded my 50% and wanted to file the Notice of Disagreement I had an American Legion Rep at the Blue Goose in August Ga tell me that very thing, "you should be happy with 50%, you weren't even in combat" yes I was but not for the incident that was the main focus of my PTSD. I had several "stressor incidents" during my 14 years of Army and national Guard service. But the claims system needs one incident to focus on for the award of benefits, and in my case they chose the attempted murder and robbery by 7 fellow soldiers in Feb 1975 when they left me for dead in a snowbank unconcious at Fort Wainwright Alaska after robbing me.

I am still appealing heart disease and other issues I feel are related to the chemical weapons and drug experiments at Edgewood Arsenal in June thru August 1974, but the VARO is acting like a brick wall when it comes time to discuss these issue's. I will keep appealing it until my family gets the security they deserve, or I die, whichever comes first. In the veterans claims process the claim dies with the veteran. Like my step father one of the Air Force veterans who flew thru the Nuclear clouds in Nevada, he died before the RECA Act was approved paying compensation to the men and women exposed to radiation that caused cancer, Dale had three types of cancer on the RECA list, he was entitled to 75,000 dollars lump sum payment, he died before it was approved and the family can not collect it, just the widow, and Mom died before dale passed away.

I hope they don't do this to Gulf War Illness and depleted Uranium injuries, but it appears DOD is taking the same approach, by denying any links for decades, before allowing the links to be "discovered" as in the case of radiation illnesses and Agent Orange.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Iraq Memorial

We will see if the imbedded images work or not good luck

Monday, March 12, 2007

the wicked witch is dead

LT Gen Kevin Kiley (I don't do barracks inspections) has been forced to resign to be the Acting Secretary of the Army, since he hasn't been a 3 star long enough, he should be reduced to his permanent rank of Major General and be retired at the 2 star level, no one has deserved it more. As long as that sorry bastard stayed as Surgeon General no soldier would feel safe and secure being wounded, they would be worried about the treatment their families would be getting while they were at Walter Reed or other military medical facilities. There is nothing worse than treating wounded soldiers or their families like shit, especially by the Chain of Command, this is the worst kind of Command failure there is, it had to be nipped in the bud.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Blog name change

Since I was asked a month or so ago to change the name of my blog, I have been thinking about what I really wanted to call it, and this is it, now will it actually be updated daily, I intend to but you all know what happens to best intentions, sometimes they just don't get met, but I will try that's all I can say. If you don't see what you are looking for here can I suggest the VA Watchdog and read today's headlines for VA news

Friday, March 09, 2007

McClatchy Papers blog

The uproar from the Walter Reed fiasco has exposed the long known problems of military medical retirement boards and bad treatment for medical holding company personnel and the Veterans Affairs claims processing and the health care or rather the lack of it at the VA and this is one of the best blogs created about it by a newspaper http://washingtonbureau.typepad.com/veterans/ please go here and add your own comments and read the other stories there Hoooooah McClatchy

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Frank Gaffney offends sensibility

Glenn Greenwald of Salon has written an article about Mr gaffney's absurd article in the Washington Times here http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/02/14/neoconservatism/index.html

Frank Gaffney, one of the country's most influential and well-connected neoconservatives, has a column in today's Washington Times in which he argues that the debate taking place in Congress over the war in Iraq constitutes treason. Gaffney specifically argues that the condemnations of Douglas Feith from Sen. Rockefeller "really should be a hanging offense."

Gaffney begins his column by purporting to quote Abraham Lincoln. Gaffney claims that Lincoln said:

Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.
This quote has become a favorite weapon for those who want to criminalize criticism of the Leader and the War. Jack Murtha's opponent in the last election, Diana Irey, cited this quote while discussing Murtha's opposition to the war.

But this quote is completely invented. Lincoln never said it. This "quote" was first attributed to Lincoln by J. Michael Waller in Insight Magazine, in a 2003 article revealingly entitled: Democrats Usher in an Age of Treason. But as Waller himself now admits, the quote attributed to Lincoln is completely fraudulent. Waller wrote in an e-mail to FactCheck.org (h/t William Wolfrum):

The supposed quote in question is not a quote at all, and I never intended it to be construed as one. It was my lead sentence in the article that a copy editor mistakenly turned into a quote by incorrectly inserting quotation marks.
It was Waller, in The Washington Times' Insight Magazine, urging that anti-war Congressmen be hanged -- not Abraham Lincoln.

this is my response to the Managing Editor of the Washington Times
It does the country more harm to print false quotes attributed to famous and popular Presidents and inflame the Neocons into demanding the critics of the Iraq War be punished for doing their duty in Congress, to debate the most serious issue of our day.

The Neocons demanded the bloggers head for offending Catholics for far less than what Frank Gaffney wrote. Yet he is supposedly a great writer, why? Where is the accountability? Does your paper endorse enticement to riot? Does it allow false quotes to be printed as truths? The nation awaits your response.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New reading enjoyment

There is a new book available and appears interesting for those of you interested here is an excerpt, and a link to the author's website: enjoy!

"The following is a brief excerpt of my book, "When The Angels Have Risen:"

Suddenly, back on the Earth plane, in Las Vegas while I continued to explain what was shown to me by the alien, the sky above opened up with a sudden, brilliant appearance of a very large rainbow manifesting itself just above the university. Everyone suddenly was quiet and in awe admiring the brilli ant panoramic view of this rainbow manifestation above. The rain had stopped, while the clouds quickly dissipated. A gentle breeze then crossed the campus. The cool spring like breeze refreshed and cleansed the air. Suddenly, I heard a bird chirp. “You all heard the little bird. I guess he wants me to continue.” I smiled and the students laughed.

Then I continued with the explanation of my inspiring dogma and the biblical history. I elaborated about the angels and the different souls, and, of course, what we thought were miracles, but were actually causations of aliens. At that very moment, I looked within the audience for that deranged idiot who was going to shoot me like I was John Lennon. But seeing that there was no barrel in the distance pointing toward me, I continued even while the feds and the cops began to tighten their encirclement of the quad.

And so I concluded with, “These institutions used religion to gain power. They used guilt and fear as methods of control. Now, the dark souls have evolved using the monetary system or economic system to control the masses.

Have you noticed how corporations are now in control of the governments worldwide? Quite similar to the religious institutions controlling the governments in the past... The religious institutions, corporations, and governments are married into the same covenant of the DARK. And now, the aliens of the LIGHT have come back in force to counter the DARK on the Earth plane. This war between LIGHT and DARK has been a continual war...”

Suddenly, the feds converged upon the students. From behind the buildings, campus police joined forces with the feds and Metro Police, and while trying to advance toward me and Kelly, they all began to ruthlessly beat any student who stood within their path. The students began to defend themselves.

Additional Metro Police appeared from the street side on Maryland Parkway. The Metro Police started shooting their canisters of tear gas at us and the students. The feds, riot geared Metro Police, and campus police then began to fall back. The students threw the canisters of tear gas back at their attackers. Rubber bullets began whizzing by the students as they ducked for cover.

Metro riot police with their shields held high were protecting themselves from the onslaught of bottles and rocks, and while pointing their guns toward the students marched in unison like the “goose step” of Hitler’s army. They continued to discharge their weapons at the students. This was Las Vegas in the year 2006 and not Berkeley of 1969. It was like Kent State all over again.

Through all the commotion and the smoke-filled air, Kelly, John, and I managed to sneak out of the Las Vegas riot. We quickly jumped into our van and headed off."


Thanks again,

Andrew Feder

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Reason for the Blog name change

I was notified on a reply to another post that the owner of a "highly popular website" wanted me to cease and desist from using "his" name Outside the Beltway. given that I have a website named Outside the Beltway.org which was taken down in October due to hackers, this blog also had the same name, I guess when I put the .org website back up I will have to change the name of it also. I did apologize and changed the name, plain and simple explanation. I am sure from my traffic count no one had the two sites confused if they did he is not as popular as he thinks he is.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Due to my mood

It will be a day or two before I write a full response to this BS piece of work, but now I know how Jewish people feel when they hear people say the Holocaust never happened.

Dr James Ketchums new book


There were many acid tests happening in the 1950s and 1960s. Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters dosed sometimes-unsuspecting proto-hippies. The CIA was dosing unsuspecting mainstreamers. Leary dosed fully cognizant artists, therapists and students. But meanwhile, over at Army Chemical Center at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland, psychiatrist James S. Ketchum was testing LSD, BZ and other psychedelic and deliriant compounds on fully informed volunteers for the U.S. military.

Dr. James S. Ketchum was hired by Edgewood, first as a research psychiatrist in 1961. He became Chief of the Psychopharmacology Branch in 1963, and then became Acting Chief of Clinical Research in 1966. After a brief hiatus at Stanford University, he returned as Edgewoods’ Chief of Clinical Research in 1968, staying there until 1971. Dr. Ketchum and his team were looking, primarily, for non-lethal incapacitating agents, and he was central to many of the experiments with these compounds that took place during that time.

Now, Dr. Ketchum has released his fascinating self-published memoir, Chemical Warfare: Secrets Almost Forgotten, primarily detailing his times at Edgewood. The book boasts charts, graphs and experimental reports — a veritable goldmine of information for those who are interested in psychedelics, deliriants, or chemical warfare. It’s also a funny, observant, and reflective personal memoir, casting a light not only on Ketchum and his work, but on a decade that saw 60s counterculture and the military share an oddly intersecting obsession with mind-altering drugs.

Dr. Ketchum himself has remained intrigued by these chemicals, as reflected in his ongoing friendship with Dr. Alexander (Sasha) Shulgin, who wrote a foreword for this book.

I recently interviewed him for The RU Sirius Show. Steve Robles joined me.

To listen the full interview in MP3, click here.

RU SIRIUS: Tell us about the research you did at Edgewood Arsenal with various substances as weapons. What was the political environment?

JAMES KETCHUM: It was during the Cold War and there was great concern about what the Soviet Union might be plotting. It was known that they were investing a lot of money in chemical warfare research — about ten times as much as we were. And at the same time, there was an interest in the U.S. in developing weapons that might be called more “humane” as opposed to “conventional” weapons. In 1955, Congress was entertained by Major General Creasy, who described what LSD could do. At the time, that was the latest drug of interest. And as he described it to Congress, they became very enthusiastic, and voted in favor of doing research into LSD as a possible incapacitating agent that would be life-sparing. Congress passed a resolution with only one vote against it, which is perhaps indicative of the philosophy of the times.

So money was allocated to build a project at Edgewood Arsenal, the army chemical center. And over the next few years the budgeting increased, supported by John F. Kennedy, among others. I was given the opportunity to go there after my residency in psychiatry in 1961, and I thought it would be interesting. I ended up spending about ten years there. When I arrived, the program was just in its nascency. There had been some work done by others there with LSD, but they had never had a psychiatrist. And they’d run into a few problems that made them think they ought to have one. So I was given pretty much a free hand over the next few years to develop a program that would be safe and also provide the information that was being sought, not only about LSD but about drugs like BZ, and others.

RU: So you actually ended up having a long strange trip of your own. You had some very interesting experiences with it.

JK: I enjoyed it very much. Unfortunately at the time, classification of that research was so great that very little of the information we found was leaked out to the public or allowed to be spread among the public. And as is the custom in the army — or was the custom — classified papers usually remained classified for 12 years before they’d be downgraded and made available. By that time, most people had gone separate ways. The program itself had been pretty much terminated. No one really wrote the history of that decade. I thought, later, that was a serious omission. And that’s what led me to write this book.

STEVE ROBLES: Did you find any evidence that the Soviets might have taken this tack in their own chemical warfare research?

JK: There was information indicating that, around 1960, the Soviet Union was importing vast quantities of contaminated rye from the satellite countries. This was interpreted as being indicative of their interest in producing LSD, since there’s not much use for contaminated rye except that it contains ergot, which is a form of contamination [ed: ergot is used to prepare lysergic acid, the raw material for LSD]. That made us think maybe they were having a big LSD development program of their own.

SR: So there was a different kind of space race going on at the same time.

JK: That’s right. Inner space.

RU: The meat of this book, and the fun part, is descriptions of people undergoing the experiments. I wonder if any moments in particular pop into your head showing the way that human beings behave under the influence.

JK: I watched a number of people — actually, more than a hundred — going through the experience of having BZ, which is a long-acting atropine type compound. It produces delirium if given in a sufficient dose. Half-a-milligram is sufficient in the case of BZ, as compared with about 10 milligrams of atropine. To describe the tripping in detail would take some time. In the book, I’ve documented an entire BZ trip over a hundred-hour period, including everything that was said and done.

RU: You had a man watching an entire football game on his fingernail or something?

JK: It was a tiny baseball game on the padded floor. The hallucinations were “real” hallucinations. I’d like to make a distinction between BZ hallucinations and LSD so-called hallucinations, which are really not hallucinations — they’re more illusions. People generally know that they’re not real, but produced by the drug. Whereas with BZ, the individual becomes delirious, and in that state is unable to distinguish fantasy from reality, and may see, for instance, strips of bacon along the edge of the floor.

RU: Belladonna would probably be the most common deliriant among drug experimenters.

JK: Right. Loco weed. Belladonna, in the form of Asmador, for example, was used for asthma and contains atropine. People were getting high on this in the 60s. My brother described one young man trying to crawl across a street in New York City and grabbing onto the pants leg of a police officer. People don’t know what they’re doing when they’re under the influence. They mistake people for objects and objects for people. They’ll salute the water fountain or bump into a nurse and say, “Excuse me, sir,” and the like.

RU: Were you guys doing a lot of chuckling while this was going on? You’re trying to maintain a certain degree of decorum, but…

JK: Yes. I would tell the technicians that it wasn’t nice to laugh at these things, even though the subject probably wouldn’t remember it later. It was sometimes hard to suppress it. Like when one individual asked another, in the same padded room, if he could have a cigarette. And then, when the other individual held out an empty hand that looked like it was holding a pack, he said, “Oh, I don’t want to take your last one.” So it was fully “out there” on a fantastic scale.

RU: I had a friend who took belladonna at a rock concert. And about halfway into it, he thought he was back in his own room and that the music on the radio really sucked, and he was going to turn it off. That basically involved twisting this girl’s kneecap until he got kicked out. Fortunately, it was just the kneecap.

JK: One young man tried to straighten out my arm, as if it were a pipe of some sort! He tugged on it, and pulled it, and didn’t seem at all aware that I might be discomforted by that.

RU: So this book, which is about a very serious subject, is actually quite an amusing read.

JK: Yeah, I tried to keep it from being too heavy, and included a number of anecdotes about people who weren’t delirious that were equally funny.

RU: Some of the inter-office activity was amusing too. Describe what happens when soldiers try to deal with mock-up battle conditions under the influence of BZ.

JK: Well of course, commanders wanted to know what would happen if this stuff were ever used in the field. So at first we set up an indoor type of situation, a sort of simulated command post with four soldiers in it. One of them was given a full dose of BZ while the others were given either small doses or none at all, in order to have some possibility of maintaining order. So this one individual would continually go to the door and try to get out. He’d turn around and say, “I’ll see you later,” but it was locked, and he finally concluded that he was trapped. When the cameras, which were behind these sliding plywood doors, were opened, he came over to one and looked into it as if it were the eye of a Martian. And then he tried to climb out through the medicine cabinet. Then he went over to the water bag and yelled, “Hey, this broad just committed suicide.” It took quite a bit of help from his teammates to keep him from hurting himself. But fortunately, nothing serious happened.

RU: You write that nobody was really injured or permanently damaged by these experiments, and you make a distinction between the work that you did at the arsenal and work done by the Central Intelligence Agency.

JK: I tried to dissect out the work done by the army from the work done by the CIA. The CIA, of course, was the first to undertake studies of LSD. They did it without any real scientific structure; and they took liberties that they shouldn’t have taken, giving it covertly to American citizens and the like. This was the MK-ULTRA program. Unfortunately, Edgewood Arsenal acquired a reputation for being somehow involved in the MK-ULTRA program — being somehow underwritten by the CIA. And this was not true. There were a couple of individuals who had a secret connection to the CIA, but the program itself was transparent, at least within the military, and there was none of the hijinx that the CIA carried out in San Francisco and other places. [ed: they gave LSD to customers in a house used for prostitution and watched them through a two-way mirror.]

RU: You recently gave testimony about the CIA program. Tell us a little bit about that.

JK: I testified on behalf of Wayne Ritchie, a deputy U.S. Marshall who had been an ideal officer — four years in the Marines, a year at Alcatraz as a guard. He was regarded as perfectly stable — normal. After a Christmas party, where people from the CIA office next door were present, he came back to his office and began to believe that everyone was against him. And then he went out on the street and walked home for the first time without his car, and was convinced that his girlfriend was against him; and the bartender was against him. So he decided to hold up a bar and get enough money for his girlfriend to fly to New York, and then he’d be arrested and they would kick him out of the US Marshal Service and everyone would be happy. So this is what he did, and this is what happened. And when he came to and realized what he’d done, he felt terrible. He wanted to commit suicide. He asked for a bullet to save the state some money, and he submitted a letter of resignation.

From that point on, he was regarded as a pariah and he spent the rest of his life believing he had committed a serious crime for which he’d never be forgiven. Then Sidney Gottleib — who was the head of the MK-ULTRA program — died. And in his obituary, it mentioned that he was supervising the administration of LSD to unwitting American citizens. [ed: The CIA also dosed unsuspecting attendants at office parties, as documented in Acid Dreams and elsewhere.] And so the light went on in his head at that point, and Wayne realized, or believed, that that’s probably what happened to him. So a case was eventually brought to court, and I was asked to testify on behalf of Wayne. I spent two-and-a-half days on the witness stand, mostly answering questions from CIA lawyers. Ultimately the outcome was not favorable, unfortunately. The judge didn’t feel convinced, and neither did the Appeals court. The judge said, in effect, “If you can explain this man’s criminal behavior with LSD, then I suppose you could blame anyone’s criminal behavior on LSD.” And this really wasn’t very logical and didn’t fit the facts, but that’s how it ended up. It was a rather unhappy ending to an unhappy story.

RU: A number of your volunteers in the LSD experiments expressed feelings of having had a profound experience. More frequently than not, they expressed a sort of regret in coming down and having the experience end.

JK: Yes. We were primarily interested in measuring performance on a systematic basis. But, of course, clinically it was pretty hard to ignore the differences in the responses to LSD that we observed. Some individuals would become very frolicsome and laugh a great deal. Some would become depressed and withdrawn; some became paranoid. Seeing the spectrum of responses in otherwise normal young men was quite interesting. One individual in particular, I believe, actually had a therapeutic experience. He was in a group of four, and we held a televised discussion after the test, and he admitted finally under pressure from his buddies that he had had some unacceptable erotic thoughts about the nurses that he was reluctant to reveal. And they told him that was all right, there’s nothing wrong with that. And when he went back to his unit, I heard indirectly that his personality was different. He became more sociable and outgoing. I have to give LSD some of the credit in that case.

RU: Also a frequent response from some of the volunteers was to find the tests just silly and absurd and to just laugh at the things they were asked to do.

JK: Yeah, under LSD, they perceived the absurdity of being asked to solve as many arithmetic problems as they could in three minutes. Sometimes they refused to do it all together. But in other cases they did their best, but couldn’t do as well as they did before the drug. I took it once and I had precisely the same difficulty solving arithmetic problems, but I didn’t have any of the wonderful visions and fantasies. I guess because I was thinking of the psychopharmacology of the LSD going through my raphe nucleus and so forth.

RU: You took 80 micrograms. It’s a little bit shy of a trip.

JK: Yeah. But it was chemically pure, U.S. Army-grade, 99.9 percent…

RU: Got any of that stuff left?

JK: Well, there was 40 pounds left in my office one day in a big black barrel…

RU: Oh yes! Do tell the story of the canister.

JK: I was chief of the department at that point. When I came into work one day, I noticed that there was a big, black, sort of oil barrel-type drum in the corner of the room. And no one said anything, or told me anything about it. So after a couple of days, my curiosity overcame me. After everyone had gone home, I opened it up and pulled out a jar. And I looked and saw that it was about 3.41623 kilograms of LSD. And so were the rest of the jars.

RU: Drop that baby on Iran and see what happens.

JK: But after another couple of days, the barrel was gone! I never heard anything; I never got a receipt for it. The LSD there was probably worth about a billion dollars on the street. And it just stayed there for a few days and went away.

SR: Speaking of getting onto the street, I’ve never heard of BZ, I guess it didn’t penetrate the black market?

RU: That’s really not the sort of thing people tend to want to take.

JK: Well, as I say, it’s similar to atropine or belladonna, which some people have taken for trips, and it’s been used through the ages for ceremonial purposes, for various purposes.

RU: I remember Durk Pearson saying it was interesting.

JK: It lasts about 72 hours in a dose that is just sufficient to incapacitate someone. It can last longer if you take more, but we kept the doses as low as we could. Delirium is not something that anyone particularly wants to go through. It’s more of a shipment than a trip, I would say.

RU: You don’t remember much. It’s probably more fun to watch other people take it.

JK: Right. Not too much intelligent insight emerges under its effects.

RU: Let’s get back to the purpose of this research. What you were hoping for?

JK: I felt I was working on a noble cause because the purpose of this research was to find something that would be an alternative to bombs and bullets. It could also be helpful in reducing civilian casualties, which have increased ever since the Civil War from almost zero percent to the eighty percent now or maybe higher — 90 percent perhaps in Iraq, because you can’t really avoid “collateral damage” if the enemy is going to hide among the civilians. Perhaps it’s a good time to rethink our use of incapacitating agents as a humane alternative.

The Russians did very well with this. When the Chechnyan terrorists took over an auditorium filled with attendees at a Moscow concert and held them captive for three days, the Russians brought in an incapacitating agent. It happened to be a morphine derivative of high potency, and they pumped it in through the ceiling and the floor, waited for a while, and then rushed in. And those terrorists did not detonate the bombs they had strapped to their bodies; they did not fire their weapons; they were all down on the floor unconscious, as was most of the audience. They were able to save about 80% of the audience.

RU: Do you feel that maybe they could’ve used a better incapacitating agent that would’ve allowed them to save everybody or nearly everybody?

JK: No, I don’t think there was anything better they could’ve used. This was a quick-acting drug, which is what it had to be. If they’d used BZ or some drug like that, the effects would have come on too gradually. The terrorists would have had time to figure out what was going on. So this was a knockout effect, and it worked very well. And I credit the Russians for doing this, although they seem to be embarrassed about giving out the details, because in the United States and the rest of the world in general, chemical warfare in any form is a no-no.

RU: It’s illegal internationally, isn’t it?

JK: A number of treaties were drawn up, the last of which was the chemical warfare convention. And it’s now illegal to use any drug that can either cause death or seriously disturbed behavior. And I think it’s unfortunate that we went in and agreed to this treaty because we’re now in a different kind of war from anything we’ve been in previously.

SR: I wonder what effect of LSD would have in either dislodging — or maybe even reinforcing – the beliefs of real serious believers, like fanatical Islamists, for example.

JK: Well, LSD was discarded pretty early on as an incapacitating agent when it was realized that it produced highly unpredictable effects and that people could still retain the ability to fire a rifle or push a button on a bomb-release mechanism. So I’m pretty sure LSD would not be used. It would have to be something in the opiate category, like what was used in Moscow; or perhaps one of the rapid-acting belladonna-like drugs. Incidentally, although BZ was adopted briefly and even packed into munitions, as far as I know, it was never used, despite rumors to the contrary. And later on we found rapid-acting compounds in the same category — short-acting, rapid-acting compounds that would’ve worked much better. But by this time, the whole notion of militarizing incapacitating agents had lost its window of opportunity. That’s one reason that all this research was kind of left in file cabinets.

RU: We’ve talked about psychedelics, and we’ve talked about deliriants. But what about disassociatives like ketamine and PCP? Do those hold any potential in your opinion, and do you know if they were looked into at all?

JK: A little work was done with PCP before my arrival. They had a complication. One individual became psychotic and required hospitalization. And this kind of scared them. In fact, that’s one reason I was asked to go there. So PCP would probably be an unacceptable drug.

SR: That’s not an uncommon reaction to PCP, right? Violence…

JK: It definitely can produce aggressive and resistant behavior that’s very hard to overcome.

RU: The 1970s was a time of great revelation of government crimes, and Edgewood Arsenal and your work got roped into the general attitude in the media towards the establishment, towards the military and so forth. Talk a little bit about how you feel the media misinterpreted your work.

JK: It grew out of the Congressional hearings, the most famous of which was the Kennedy hearings. The CIA was investigated. Congress attempted to find out just what they did with LSD in the early 50s. The CIA had destroyed all their records and the people who were still around claimed they couldn’t remember anything. But as a result of that, the army was asked to look at its work with similar agents. The Inspector General held a very comprehensive review, the National Academy of Sciences was asked to do a review of the work with BZ, and although they produced follow-ups finding no harm, somehow in the public mind, the CIA work and the U.S. Army work became interwoven. I believe that’s an unfortunate thing.

Another mistake was that the media characterized BZ as a super-hallucinogen, which really is not a good way to describe it. It’s a deliriant, basically — pure and simple.

RU: You’ve indicated the effects of some of today’s potential chemical weapons have been exaggerated in the media. You’ve spoken about the potency of VX, for example

JK: That’s right. This is in relation to nerve agents. I wasn’t an expert on that — that work was going on next door. But people have been told that a couple of drops of VX on the floor of Macy’s would wipe out the entire customer population. And things of that nature have been represented in programs like 24. (It’s a great series but…). People have a morbid fear of anything chemical, which has been encouraged by the media. Many inaccuracies have been brought out. As a matter of fact, ironically, nerve agents are a good antidote for drugs like BZ, and vice versa. Atropine’s used to treat nerve agent poisoning, and nerve agents can be used to treat atropine or BZ poisoning. We found this out in the lab. Of course anyone who heard that they were going to be treated with a nerve agent for their atropine or BZ poisoning would probably be very unhappy and nervous. But it works very well!

RU: So tell people how they can get a hold of this book. It’s an independent publication, with a unique design. It’s almost like a coffee table book.

SR: I thought you were going to say, “Tell people how they can get a hold of that black barrel!”

RU: Yeah. Where did you hide that black barrel?

JK: Here.

See also: Excerpts from Chemical Warfare: Secrets Almost Forgotten

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