Whether or not you support the war in Iraq, I'm sure you support the men and women who are putting their lives on the line every single day. Sometimes, though, I can't help but wonder which side of the war in Iraq Washington D&C is actually on--especially when they start using our troops as human guinea pigs.
The latest scandal involves a substance that was NEVER CLINICALLY TESTED--and that every single soldier is required to have jabbed into his arm. The soldiers are finally catching wind of the side effects (heart disease, kidney failure, and multiple sclerosis, for example) of this untested substance, and they're none too happy about it. In fact, there's a growing rebellion among the troops-- even in the officer ranks--against this unethical abuse of power.
Of course, the strong arm of the military has a thing or two to say about such open acts of rebellion. More on that a little later. First, you need to know a little more about this mandatory shot called the anthrax vaccine.
Gulf War syndrome all over again
Mandatory shots are nothing new. I remember getting shots without my permission, though it never would have occurred to me to refuse them. (What does an 18-year-old sailor know?) But back in 1945 there weren't many of them, and they were relatively innocuous.
So the concept wasn't new in 1991, when the massive injection of unproved vaccines gained momentum in the Gulf War. Anthrax and other vaccines (many of them of questionable use and safety) were forced on the troops under King George I. The risk levels for severe illness, lifetime disability, and even death were things no one counted on--and that plenty would like to sweep under the rug.
I know it's been a while since the term Gulf War syndrome was on everyone's mind. So in case you're a bit rusty on the details, allow me to polish your memory a bit.
When our Desert Storm vets came home, many brought more than just nightmares with them. Symptoms such as chronic fatigue, loss of muscle control, headaches, dizziness, memory problems, muscle and joint pain, indigestion, skin problems, shortness of breath, and even diabetes became so common that they were all lumped under one heading: Gulf War syndrome (GWS).
Plenty of studies have been done over the years, and out of the potential causes, one cause stands out like a sore thumb: side effects from the anthrax vaccine.
And for those who would point a finger at chemical weapons or parasitic diseases, try this on for size: Even troops that were never deployed overseas have developed GWS. Yes, the common enemy--both of the soldiers on the war front and on the home front--was from our own government: again, the mandatory anthrax vaccine.
Did you know that the FDA approved the vaccine EVEN THOUGH IT NEVER WENT THROUGH A SINGLE LARGE-SCALE CLINICAL TRIAL?!
Of all the nations involved in actual combat, the ones with the highest rates of excess illness were the U.S. and the U.K.--the ones with the highest reported uses of pesticides and the anthrax vaccine. France, on the other hand, had the lowest rates of illness--and its troops didn't recieve the anthrax vaccine. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Now, more than a decade later, King George II is in power, and the deadly charade continues in Gulf War II.
The military takes aim at its own troops
In 2008, the soldiers who receive the vaccine are facing the same risks as those who went before them. The General Accounting Office anticipates that at least 1 to 2 percent of those who get the shot could experience what they're calling "adverse events"--in plain English, that means side effects that can lead to disability or death. Two percent might not sound like much to you--but that's 2 percent of 2.2 million servicemen and women who have received the mandatory shot.
That's over 44,000 soldiers that they expect to develop a disability or die from a shot that the FDA says is "safe and effective."
The anthrax vaccine is called BioThrax, and it's made by a company called Emergent Biosolutions (previously BioPort). The Pentagon keeps telling us it's safe, but the company's own insurance company isn't so sure. In fact, Evanston Insurance actually sued BioPort, alleging "material misrepresentations" by the pharmaceutical company about "incidents, conditions, circumstances, defects, or suspected defects" in the vaccine. In the old days, we called this FRAUD and it got you 10 years in the slammer. Now such criminal behavior is rewarded with a bigger and better contract.
According to WorldNetDaily, "The military suspended the use of the anthrax vaccine in October 2004 in response to a court order revealing concerns over the process through which it was approved for use on the military, but that order expired in October 2006 and the mandatory shots were resumed within a few months."
It just expired? Not one single blockhead in Congress said: "Wait a minute! What have you done to prove the soldiers and many scientists wrong?" Well, the answer (had the question been raised) would have been that they had done nothing. The court order just expired after two years of no action. The con artists, known as your elected public servants, know that the average voter can't remember what happened two weeks ago, let alone two years ago.
Believe it or not, the government actually admits that the vaccine could possibly have killed as many as 21 soldiers. That they admit it's killed ANY is pretty darn surprising--especially since they're standing by their claim that it's "safe and effective." But just imagine how many deaths they're NOT admitting to. I've come across plenty of credible sources that indicate the number is much higher, but because it's not "proven"--and because the government hasn't admitted to it (And why would they? To do so would be shooting themselves in the foot), I'm not legally allowed to tell you about those numbers.
Those who survive are forced to live with the painful, debilitating side effects that often affect them for the rest of their lives. Thousands have suffered from nervous system disorders, skin disorders, and bone disorders. And a few have even developed heart problems, seizures, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory arthritis, and even lesions on the brain.
Trying to save face, the GAO's best explanation is that "Some of these events may occur coincidentally following immunization, while others may truly be caused by immunization." Bull. These men and women were all certified to be in good health when they entered the military. How does an 18-year-old come down with diabetes, heart disease, or multiple sclerosis coincidentally?
So what's a soldier to do?
A soldier's body is not his own
These stats aren't exactly a secret anymore--and the troops aren't too thrilled. Some of them have seen Gulf War syndrome firsthand, and they know of its connection to the anthrax vaccine. Yet they have no choice but to watch as the needles get jabbed into their arms and the deadly juice slowly gets injected into their bloodstreams with the push of a thumb. Their only "acceptable" course of action is to cross their fingers or pray to whoever they think they're going to meet if they become a statistic.
It's one thing to die for your country, but dying for a pharmaceutical company? Not exactly what they signed up for.
The story of Leif Hamre illustrates the vise these soldiers are finding themselves in.
Private Leif Hamre is a special sort of private, and not exactly what the military wants at that level (or any level for that matter). He thinks for himself and speaks out when others dare not. Yes, I know the military is not a democracy. You have to take orders from those above you. You are a killing machine, not a "peace force" (which is an oxymoron, anyway). But when the military insults the intelligence of its men and robs them of the right to protect themselves against an obvious enemy (which the anthrax vaccine has been proved to be), it creates a deep resentment--along with a quiet rebellion and a fall in morale.
When Private Hamre discovered that the vaccine hadn't been properly stored, he refused to receive it. The military's reaction was predictable. According to WorldNetDaily, "Hamre was awarded with 18-hour work days; he was taken off missions, and had his pay scale lowered." He was taken off missions? Boy, I'll bet he hated that. Is that what they mean by "military intelligence"?
In an open letter to friends and family members, he said, "The tactics they have used to coerce me into taking the [anthrax] shot that is unregulated, are unscrupulous and downright un-American."
Having spent 10 years in the military (two separate enlistments), I will say that Leif made a serious error here. ("Been there, done that.") He has insulted the military brass, and he will be severely punished. The fact that he is telling the truth is irrelevant. As I iterated above, the military is a killing machine and blind obedience is essential for success.
The fact that he enlisted voluntarily weakens his case. He was badly advised (if he was advised at all) before making a decision to "fight for democracy and freedom" in a country (Iraq) that doesn't care about either. They care about Islam--democracy and freedom are not in their lexicon. Now he has two enemies: the Muslim world and the American military.
Who should he pray to now?
Your part in this story
If all of this isn't enough to get you up in arms, perhaps this next bit of information will: You could be next. At any given time, the government could mandate that YOU get this shot as well. Dr. Meryl Nass, a board-certified internist who is opposed to the anthrax vaccine, says that it is "legally and technically possible" that all Americans will be forced to take the vaccine.
She gave a possible scenario: "If a handful of people were to be exposed in an office building in Los Angeles, for example, the government could issue an order for vaccination for everybody in the building, maybe everybody in Los Angeles. That's what people now are facing."
So that begs the question: What can be done?
Well, as Sir Francis Bacon said, "Knowledge is power." Read more about it. Talk to people about it. By all means, if you know someone who is in the military, share this article with them. Point them to a few informative websites, like Dr, Nass's site: www.anthraxvaccine.org. In fact, Dr. Nass is so passionate about this cause that she's offering to do a FREE videoconference with servicemen. Visit her website to find out the details.
There is help out there, but the initial resistance and leadership comes from non-scientists--just Americans with common sense who may or may not have a degree in science or anything else. Lyme disease, for example, was not discovered by a scientist but by a Connecticut housewife from Lyme, Connecticut. A "real scientist" then isolated the organism. She deserves the credit for thinking outside the medical box and pointing the scientists in the right direction. She should have been awarded with a Nobel Prize.
One person leading the way in the anthrax fight is investigative journalist Gary Matsumoto. His book, Vaccine-A, clearly connects the anthrax vaccine to Gulf War syndrome. Some of the cases he describes are gruesome, even to a doctor. You owe it to yourself, your family, and your much-abused country to read it.
Marguerite Armisted is from an organization called Protecting Our Guardians, an ironically appropriate title for citizens trying to protect our soldiers from the excesses of military medicine. "In this military program, we have a product that has led to numerous fatalities, numerous adverse reactions, and yet soldiers are told you won't be deployable if you don't take this," she said.
The intended victim should have responded, "Then don't deploy me."
Armisted went on to say, "This really is like Russian roulette. Put three bullets in, spin the chamber and take your shot."
And remember: You may be next.