("Quid coniuratio est?")
MAJOR HEBERT TESTIFIES ON GULF WAR SYNDROME
C-Span carried testimony by an Army major, a Marine major, and a Marine sergeant today who all appeared before a Congressional subcommittee looking into Gulf War Syndrome.
Especially moving testimony was given by U.S. Marine Major Randy Hebert. Major Hebert, a Gulf War veteran, developed "Lou Gehrig's Disease" subsequent to that conflict, and now is unable to speak clearly; his wife appeared with him to help clarify what he had to say.
Hebert, much diminished from the virile Marine cheered on to war by major media Gulf War propagandizing, was today ignored by that same media. Only ABC News carried portions of his testimony as their lead story; overinflated Jim Lehrer Newshour on PBS carried nothing on the story. (Remember that when PBS comes whining to you that they need money.)
This editor was brought to tears by Hebert's testimony. There sat a man, once the image of strength and hope, now physically ruined yet still offering his all to help his country get at the truth. In closing remarks, Hebert noted that he had taken an oath to defend the U.S. against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And, he added, some of these enemies are currently within the government itself, "unfortunately."
Pacifica radio gave in-depth coverage to the story. Here are excerpts from their broadcast of December 10, 1996:
Up on Capitol Hill, Gulf War veterans told of their own experience with the deadly agents.
Marine Corps Major Randy Hebert struggled as he tried to testify before a Congressional subcommittee. His problems began even before he left the Gulf, experiencing flu-like symptoms, headaches, depression. Eventually, he says, he developed what is known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease." As his troops moved across the battlefield, Hebert says his soldiers were ordered to put on their protective gear for chemical weapons. His father reads Hebert's statement:
"As we approached, we received the signal for chemical attack. We put on our masks and gloves. In doing so, I recall my right hand feeling cool and tingling."
Two other American soldiers also gave their own accounts of encounters with chemical agents during the war. All indicated that their superiors were aware of what they had encountered.
Indiana Republican Steve Boulier(sp?) expressed frustration at the slowness of the Pentagon to admit any chemical exposure: "The powers-that-be in the Pentagon are not accepting the word of these men. And that is very bothersome. They keep saying, 'There is no evidence. There is no evidence.' ... Yet when we have soldiers that give oral testimony, have logs... [the Pentagon is] still stonewalling."
In the 1970s, researchers found soldiers suffering from exposure [to chemical agents] at the Rocky Mount Arsenal, near Denver. The Army kept stores of nerve gas and other chemical weapons. But the study was dismissed by a new [later] Presidential Panel, which relied on other reports indicating there was no connection between Gulf War Syndrome and the chemical agents.
Dr. Frank Duff, with the Harvard Medical School, was one of the researchers at the Rocky Mount Arsenal: "The committee, had they come out with the conclusion that it was a reasonable possibility, would have opened the door for lots of soldiers claiming a service-related disability. And this would be very costly. So it's the kind of decision that a committee would make with great care. And I think that they put a spin on the report in the direction of casting doubt."
The three Gulf War veterans who testified today were asked whether they thought the Pentagon was still hiding information. All three were unanimous in stating that more facts would come to light regarding Gulf War Syndrome.
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