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By David Smallwood

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From the archive

GREED AND GUINEA PIGS:
RISKING THE HEALTH OF THE U.S. MILITARY
by: MAJ GLENN MacDONALD, USAR (Ret)

© 2001 MilitaryCorruption.com

Adm. William J. Crowe Jr.Al Capone would have been proud.

Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. William J. Crowe Jr. was part of the crew that sold Saddam Hussein the deadly means to wage war with anthrax germs. That's when the United States wanted the "Butcher of Baghdad" to use anthrax on Iran.

Now the admiral, who shocked political observers by endorsing Bill "I loathe the military" Clinton in 1992 and was rewarded the following year with the post of ambassador to Great Britain, gets a "sweetheart deal" from the Pentagon to produce a questionable "vaccine" that is supposed to "protect" the nation's military from the deadly organisms.

Not only does Crowe and his mysterious pal Faud El-Hibri get an exclusive multi-million dollar contract to produce anthrax vaccine, but the Government agrees to pay triple the original cost in the contract, from $3.50 a dose, to over ten dollars! This, after the company Crowe and El-Hibri partly own - Bioport of Lansing, Mich. - was temporarily shut down by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after it failed an inspection in November.

Nothing too good for our troops! So what if some of them may get sick and die? Remember "Agent Orange" (Dioxin) from Vietnam? We were told: "Not to worry. This stuff only kills the foliage, not people." Of course, we know better now. Especially the families of Vietnam vets whose wives gave birth to deformed babies.

How about Gulf War Syndrome? When the first GI's returned to the United States and came down sick, they were given the run-around by the VA. The doctors said they were "imagining" their rashes, diarrhea, coughing spells and rapid weight-loss. "It's all in your head," they were told as they were shuffled off to the psycho ward. Now we know better.

Once again the Government and the Pentagon are playing that old tune: "Trust Us." Only this time, the stakes are higher than they've ever been before. This time, the inoculations are mandatory. At first, the brass hats tried to intimidate the military into silence. "You will take them, on pain of court martial and dishonorable discharge." And hundreds - if you believe the Pentagon "spinmeisters" - or several thousand officers and service members, have voted with their feet.

Many have been punished severely and seen hopes and dreams dashed because of a genuine fear that their Government once again is lying. And at stake is the health of the entire U.S. military force.

WIDESPREAD MISTRUST AMONG THE RANKS PFC

PFC Matthew Baker who was stationed at Fort Stewart, Ga. went AWOL after his first sergeant threatened to have him strapped to a gurney and forcibly injected with the anthrax vaccine.

MAJ Sonnie Bates, USAF, one of many pilots at Dover, AFB Del. was headed for a court martial and up to five years in prison until he went on "60 Minutes" and told what was going on. Soon the Air Force scrapped their hard-line tactics and Bates was allowed to leave the service.

More than a dozen members of Bates' squadron came down sick with a variety of illnesses. Thyroid and liver damage, memory loss, bone and joint pain, fevers, dizziness, infected cysts and lesions. The only common thread was these maladies immediately followed anthrax injections.

In a letter to the Air Force, Bates stated his position was a matter of principle.

"I'm doing what I've always been trained and taught to do. If you know it's right, you stand up for it. And likewise, if you know it's wrong, you have to challenge it, no matter what the consequences.

"After 13 years of exemplary service to my country, I am willing to give up my job, my rank, and everything I have worked for to avoid taking an unsafe drug."

Army SPC Kevin Edwards started to feel sick a few weeks after his third anthrax shot. He nearly died. Bleeding sores covered the soldier's entire body. Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina said he could barely keep his composure after seeing pictures taken of Edwards at an Army hospital. Jones is one of three dozen congressmen calling for a halt in the forced anthrax immunization program.

Texas Army National Guard CPT Jody Grenga, a medical operations officer with nearly 18 years service, was kicked out of the Army for refusing the anthrax shots on religious grounds. The highly respected officer said she also refused the immunizations because of her medical history of adverse reactions to medications.

PFC Jemekia Barber, an African-American Army soldier who was forced out of the service with a less-than-honorable discharge after she refused the shots, has filed suit in U.S. District Court in Colorado. Her lawyers contend the mandatory shot order violated Barber's Constitutional rights. Herbert Fenster argued that because his client is of child-bearing age, ordering her to take the anthrax vaccine injections could subject her to risk of bearing a child with birth defects.

Two former Connecticut Air National Guard pilots, MAJ Russell Dingle and MAJ Thomas "Buzz" Rempfer said they concluded the Pentagon's use of the vaccine was illegal because of serious questions about its safety and effectiveness. They said they were ordered not to talk to the press, but refused, and with seven other pilots in their unit, the 103rd Fighter Wing, resigned.

More than thirty pilots and 17 KC-10 tanker crew-members at Travis AFB in California quit rather than take the shots. So did pilots in the Wisconsin Air National Guard. And Air Force Capt. Clifton Volpe, assigned to a VIP transport squadron at Andrews AFB Maryland, is getting the boot for refusing to take the controversial injections.

Perhaps the most eloquent of the military opponents of the mandatory anthrax inoculation program is retired Air Force Lt. Col. Redmond Handy. Named the "most outstanding officer" in 1996 by the Reserve Officers Association, Handy was a full colonel on "the fast track to stars" when he quit his Pentagon job and decided to speak out. Because he didn't have the minimum time in grade requirement as a full colonel, Handy put principle ahead of pay and left the Air Force as a light colonel.

"It is appalling that Admiral Crowe, who was a key player in the effort to let all U.S. citizens sleep better at night by leading our defenders of freedom to defeat communism, now keeps these same defenders and their families awake at night wondering if their health will be defeated by his company's product.

"And it's even more ironic that Crowe recently received the Medal of Freedom from President Clinton at the White House," Handy told MilitaryCorruption.com. The admiral's vaccine is forced on our troops without their consent and he even had the gall to advocate that all Americans should get his vaccine during Congressional hearings last October. This highly decorated sailor has turned into a vaccine salesman!"

Handy said this tragic story didn't start with the vaccine, but with the sale of anthrax to Iraq which the admiral would have known about in his military position at the time. "How convenient" that Crowe is now the "purveyor of the solution" to the anthrax "problem," the colonel said.

QUESTIONS THAT DEMAND ANSWERS

Why is it that here in our country we have "forced" implementation of anthrax vaccine? It's voluntary in all other countries, including our coalition partners. Why isn't it voluntary in America?

Why are we experimenting on our nation's military with a vaccine that has not once been tested as to the long term effects it might have on an individual's health? When the drug was approved by the FDA in 1970, it was tested on only 26 human subjects!

Why is it that members of the armed forces face fines, jail time and loss of military careers, while the U.S. State Department, which often operates in places where the threat of terrorism is high, has a "voluntary" anthrax program for its employees?

Defense Secretary William Cohen has curtailed the anthrax injection program - he says - to cover only military personnel considered "most at risk?" Did any "political considerations" enter into that decision? President Clinton, desperate to get Al Gore elected President and thus ensure a much-needed "pardon" once he's out of power, certainly doesn't need the specter of a series of highly publicized courts martial of service members - especially minority females - who sincerely fear the vaccine.

Why is the vaccine being forced on the military when its effectiveness against an actual biological attack hasn't been proven, and the vaccine may not protect against all strains of anthrax?

If the anthrax vaccine is so safe and all is well, why has the Army, which administers the mandatory inoculation program for all the services, indemnified Bioport against lawsuits that may arise from adverse reactions or other problems related to the controversial vaccine?

Why did 600,000 vaccine doses in government stock fail potency tests? And what danger could that pose to troops if they were forced to be injected with it?

Why has the Pentagon "fronted" Bioport with millions of dollars in taxpayers' money when the troubled manufacturer has experienced continued failures? Does that have something to do with who some of its owners and investors are? Did Clinton pass the word to his defense secretary, William Cohen, to "take care of" his favored political supporter Crowe?

The portly admiral has publicly stated he has "never solicited any official in the Clinton administration to install or promote a mandatory inoculation program." That's kind of like Claude Rains, who played French Police Capt. Louis Renault. Remember the famous line at Rick's Cafe in "Casablanca?" "I'm shocked, shocked that gambling is going on here!" swore the crafty cop with feigned piety as he grasped fistfuls of money.

 

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