Friendly Fire: Exposing Gulf War Syndrome August 4, 2006Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized, Whistleblower Corner.
One of the worst culprits misusing science is of course the military. It is bad enough what havoc modern weaponry wreaks on the target, but the soldiers hardly escape unscathed. In Vietnam it was just Agent Orange poisoning. Gulf War syndrome makes that look like a picnic. The military has a long history of experimenting on soldiers, and it appears their vain attempts to inoculate against weapons sent to Iraq from USA to fight Iran, such as botulism, anthrax, nerve agents, had nasty side effects on soldiers who never made it to Iraq. Depleted uranium is a euphemism for the stable isotope, since it is no good for fission bombs, but fine for dirty bombs. Nuclear waste is far more potent than DU in that sense. Military experts have the nerve to say DU is not toxic. It does take nearly the age of the earth for half to break down, so the rate of emission is slower than any other radioactive element. This does not make it safe by any means, especially if inhaled. Besides constant X-ray bombardment it releases helium ions, called alpha particles. Helium in its normal state is the most stable, unreactive element there is. Without its electrons, helium will burn as bad than any acid. DU does not hold a candle to plutonium as a cause of cancer, but when these DU weapons hit targets, that dust rides the wind. Childhood cancer and birth defects are increasingly commonplace in Iraq, and soldiers show the effects as well.
That was the state of my knowledge before I saw the LA premiere of the latest Gary Null documentary, titled same as this post. Perhaps you think you know everything about this syndrome. I did, but by the end I was so angry it took me a long time before I could speak. Between that and other issues of mine with speaking in public, I did not persist in raising my hand, so had to ask an associate if Null would mind if I blog about his movie. I did not agree with every statement in the movie, nor all the comments Null made, visiting LA for the premiere and to launch a new health support group. This was of minor import to me, as is usual with Null. I could nitpick over technical minor issues, but the man is an innovative genius, and a straight shooter, as far as I can tell. This is a rare combination, in my estimation, and his documentaries have impact, not just on me.
I cannot give too much away. The movie is not available to the general public yet, and with a news blackout preserving the coverup the movie blows out of the water, it may never make it out. The trailer can be seen at friendlyfirethemovie.com or garynull.com. One star of the movie is a defense dept. whistleblower, disclosing a public relations program waged by his agency to spread disinformation about Gulf War Syndrome, that there was no physical cause tied to the war, only a possible stress disorder. This may be what made me most angry, the coverup angle. They knew what they were doing to the soldiers and the people. They knew all along and did it anyway, just another military experiment. Null sent out at personal expense promotional copies to major media reporters and all members of Congress. Who wants to talk about yet another coverup? Some members of Congress are talking about their knowledge. You can see one in the trailer, and no, it is not some bleeding heart liberal who hates Bush. This coverup has been ongoing since Gulf War I, so it is not a partisan issue. Bill Clinton and Arnold Schwarzenegger have both sent Null personal notes thanking him for making the film. Also in the trailer, a former CIA analyst states one supplier of biological weapons to Iraq was the Centers for Disease Control. See this movie, if it ever gets out, there is plenty more disclosed to make anyone mad than just the coverup. I knew enough to expect this kind of thing from military research, treating people as human guinea pigs. To see these insane experiments in action was quite a different experience than just knowing a little about the long sordid history.
The soldiers of the first Gulf war had three strikes against them. Exposure to fumes from chemical and biological weapons exploding nearby, experimental vaccines, and uranium dust in the air. One of the villains of the film is Bush himself, in his own voice as captured by the news media. Bush Sr., Rumsfeld, other government officials are also featured. A minor villain was the inventor of an engineered virus found in 40% of sick Gulf War veterans, who declined to be interviewed, as did other officials spearheading the coverup. The movie shows the patent held by the army for this virus. Many soldiers had their say about what happened to them. Soldiers are angry, some sick and contagious, only to be told their problems were typical post traumatic stress syndrome, all in their head. Birth defects, rare cancers and other disorders, all in their heads. The coverup means the vets are on their own with this syndrome, no help from Uncle Sam. Veterans who complain are accused of wanting money. It took how many years for Uncle to settle on Agent Orange vets, who got 2 billion spread over 3.5 million, no admission of responsibility. You do the math. It is beyond insulting. One soldier told about learning Gulf War vets are not allowed to donate blood. See the movie, you will see why that might be. Another told about her doctor telling her she should not even think about having a baby. About fourteen thousand chemical weapon alarms were triggered in the first Gulf War. The army jumped to declare them all equipment malfunctions! Later it had to admit some soldiers were exposed, but downplayed the numbers and health risks, comparing it to occupational levels of exposure considered safe. This despite the Defense Dept. knowing from its own studies the chemical protection suits issued to the soldiers would not protect them. This syndrome is no small problem. There may be twenty thousand soldiers dead from Gulf War Syndrome, hundreds of thousands sick, more every day from Gulf War II.
DU dust is the problem for the people of Iraq. The rate of birth defects and childhood cancers has skyrocketed. The movie has graphic pictures. Some material took months to smuggle out of Iraq. Footage of Fallujah, not just a war zone reduced to rubble, but radioactive to boot. Iraqis talking about our soldiers stealing greenbacks from the dead. Pictures of these so effective weapons taking out targets. Pictures of soldiers watching the old atmospheric bomb tests. DU is illegal under international law, dirty ammunition originally proposed by the Manhattan Project as a terrain contaminant, then becoming a staple of modern warfare because of the extreme density of DU, twice as dense as lead. First tested by Israel in 1973, it worked well, all too well. Hundreds of tons have been exploded in Iraq. Afghanistan and Yugoslavia got their share. DOD says to this day, DU is not a problem, no link to Gulf War Syndrome. Tell that to all the Iraqis watching their children die. Null has thousands of pictures of deformed children he could have put in the movie. It took 17 screenings to satisfy the demand at Cannes, unprecedented. Breaking from the pack is not unusual for Gary Null. He is best known as a cutting edge nutrition expert and researcher, here in his investigative journalist hat.
Update 9/12/2006: This story from CBS News:
Experts convened by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) said that their review of 850 studies shows it (Gulf War Syndrome) doesn’t exist.
While studies show that Gulf War veterans are at higher risk than nondeployed soldiers for a variety of illnesses, “the results of that research indicate that … there is not a unique symptom complex (or syndrome) in deployed Gulf War veterans,” the report stated.
Same old BS. Will these alleged scientists ever come clean?
Also, the movie is now available for sale at garynull.com.