* UNEDITED *
1 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2 - - -
3 MEETING OF THE
4 PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
5 ON GULF WAR VETERANS' ILLNESSES
6 - - -
7 Capitol North Ballroom
8 Radisson Hotel Atlanta
9 Courtland Street and
11 International Boulevard
12 Atlanta, Georgia
13 Tuesday, April 16, 1996
15 The meeting was convened, pursuant to notice, at
16 8:45 a.m., Chairman of the Panel, Presiding
17 ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT:
18 THOMAS P. CROSS
19 DONALD CUSTIS
20 MARGUERITE KNOX
21 ROLANDO RIOS
22 ANDREA KIDD TAYLOR
1 C O N T E N T S
2 AGENDA PAGE
3 CALL TO ORDER AND OPENING REMARKS
4 PUBLIC COMMENTS
5 GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATIONS OF POSSIBLE
6 EXPOSURES TO CBW AGENTS
7 NONGOVERNMENTAL INVESTIGATIONS OF
8 POSSIBLE EXPOSURES TO CBW AGENTS
1 P R O C E E D I N G S
2 WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS
3 MR. CROSS: My name is Tom Cross, a member of the
4 Presidential Advisory Committee. As most of you know, I'ma
5 Gulf War Vet, and on behalf of the Panel I'd like to thank
6 all of you for coming today. Many of you I know have
7 traveled from great distances and we appreciate everybody
8 being here.
9 Before we go to our public comments session, I'd
10 like the rest of the Committee Members and Staff to
11 introduce themselves at this time.
12 MR. TURNER: I am James Turner; I'm a member of
13 the Committee Staff.
14 DR. CUSTIS: I'm Dr. Custis, I'm currently
16 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: I'm Andrea Kidd Taylor. I'm
17 industrial hygienist and occupational health consultant
18 United Auto Workers Health and Safety Department in
20 MS. GWIN: I'm Holly Gwin on the Committee
21 MR. KOWALOK: I'm Mike Kowalok with the
23 MS. KNOX: I'm Marguerite Knox. I'm a Gulf War
24 Veteran, and I'm a nurse practitioner.
25 MR. RIOS: I'm Rolando Rios. I'm an attorney
1 a Vietnam Veteran.
2 MR. BROWN: I'm Mark Brown. I'm a chemist
3 toxicologist and I'm on the Committee Staff.
4 MR. CROSS: Thank you very much.
5 Okay. We have a full agenda today and the first
6 person who is scheduled to speak is Thomas Lane. Is he
8 PUBLIC COMMENT
9 MR. LANE: Hi, my name is Thomas Lane. I'm very
10 fortunate to be here. I appreciate you allowing me coming
11 and speaking before the Presidential Advisory Committee.
12 To start out with, I was the first patient of
13 Hyman, Edward Hyman, and his treatment in essence gave my
14 life back to me.
15 There's probably several here that's still
16 suffering from the Desert Storm sickness. I know what
17 they're going through because I suffered it for over a
18 before I was fortunate enough to be treated by Dr. Hyman.
19 Basically, the thing I brought before you today
20 what I call Operation Rescue the Dying, because these
21 if they're not treated, they're going to die eventually in
22 some form or fashion. And so we need to really get
23 about getting these people taken care of.
24 There is no hope of them getting better on their
25 own. Their spouses, even their children, they're dying
1 a sickness no one seems to understand. Watery bowels,
2 increased pulse rate, loss of appetite, weight swings,
3 thoughts of suicide, sleeplessness, emotional
4 memory loss, tremors, shakes, lack of drive,
5 itchy scalp, fatigue, sore throat, joint pain,
6 disorientation, night sweats, and urinating problems.
7 one of these things they're all going through.
8 What irritates me is when you hear somebody from
9 the DOD or the VA, they say, well, none of these cases are
10 alike, but they have so much similarity it is unreal. So
11 they try to destroy the fact that these people really got
12 this over in Desert Storm. The reason being is they don't
13 want to be responsible for it. So all of these are the
14 elements of that mysterious disease from Desert Storm.
15 Over 3,500 people have died. In my opinion
16 sad. For one thing, I've been treated successfully, and
17 many in the government phase has sought out Dr. Hyman and
18 his treatment to help those who are still afflicted? You
19 know, how long are we going to stand around and let people
20 be permanently damaged from this? There's over 200,000
21 that are affected by this disease, and the numbers are
22 growing every day. Back when I started having my
23 there was only a few thousand of us. But as time goes by
24 that is going to increase.
25 Why is it considered a mysterious disease? One
1 the reasons is due to the fact that a cause cannot be
2 the source that caused it identified. And is that any
3 reason to punish those who still suffer? Do you have to
4 down to the bottom of it before you take action? We got
5 know what it is before we can do anything. Well, you
6 You've got proof right here in front of you.
7 I tell you what, I was in sad shape before I got
8 treated. Sad shape. Does that justify the inhumane
9 treatment that these people have received? With all the
10 technology available through this great computer age that
11 live in, we're no better than a barbaric society. Who's
12 responsibility is it? It's those that lead our
13 We need to take care of these people.
14 Just like I said, I'm one of the fortunate ones
15 that Dr. Hyman treated. To tell you how bad I was, I
16 started having problems about the time I returned from the
17 Gulf War. I had the watery bowels, I had the bumps that
18 came and went, sleeplessness, fatigue, memory problems.
19 be driving down the street where I grew up in and be
20 lost. Totally lost. Every joint in my body ached.
21 I struggled to make it through the day;
22 about 10:00 o'clock in the morning, I didn't have the
23 strength to really make it, but I forced myself to make
24 through the day. Come home, go to bed.
25 Little things like vacuuming the carpet, I
1 vacuum the carpet for five minutes and didn't have the
2 strength to get back to the couch, I had to lay down on
3 floor to gather enough strength to get back to the couch.
4 know exactly what these people are going through because
5 was there myself.
6 So my whole way of living was centered on rest
7 during that whole period of time from say around May of
8 to December '92 when Dr. Hyman treated me. I couldn't
9 open a jar of mayonnaise. Didn't have the strength, and
10 plus my hands hurt so bad I couldn't open a jar of
11 mayonnaise. Had to get my kids to do that. My left hip
12 hurt me so bad I had to use a cane to get around on. I
13 like I was 90-something years old.
14 And that's about the time I started talking with
15 Dr. Hyman. He had contacted me, said he thought maybe he
16 knew what we were going through, said he had a treatment
18 He took a couple of urine samples from me,
19 bacteria swimming around in my body, and as soon as we
20 got me in the hospital. Started treatment December 15th,
21 went twelve straight days, and I felt immediate relief
22 he fed those IVs into me. I mean immediately.
23 I was on several different medications from the
24 and he took all that away from me, and after the second
25 I really didn't need that medication again.
1 So in essence Dr. Hyman gave my life back.
2 Desert Storm I was probably one of the hardest workers you
3 ever seen in your life. I could go from daylight till
4 and still have the energy to keep going. Never did get
5 down. I was a cross-country runner in college, ran
6 marathons, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But I came
7 from Desert Storm, I couldn't do that no more. I couldn't
8 run, I couldn't exercise, I couldn't do nothing. I
9 work hardly at all.
10 So Dr. Hyman gave my life back to me. Never
11 thought I'd ever get back to my old self, but here I am.
12 I'm back to running at lunch time just about every day.
13 working from morning till dark, got the energy that I used
14 to have. I'm living proof of what the man done for me.
15 These people that are still suffering, they're
16 never going to get any better on their own. Their body
17 never build up enough antibodies on its own to get better.
18 You can wait and wait and wait, and what's going to happen
19 is more and more people's going to die. I'm not
20 exaggerating. And eventually it will reach a point where
21 you'll have to do something.
22 The DOD denies a sickness even exists. I've
23 cousin that retired from -- as a major from the Army. He
24 called me the other day and he said, you know, they
25 come out and said there's nothing to it. They've made a
1 final statement saying there's nothing to it. That's a
2 bunch of hogwash.
3 They've downplayed the sickness ever since they
4 found out something was wrong. The reason being is, they
5 don't want to accept the responsibility. They know how
6 it's going to cost them once they get started because the
7 numbers are growing every day.
8 The VA spent a lot of money on paperwork, they
9 spent well over $10 million just doing paper studies. And
10 how much good has that done? Nothing. How much -- how
11 people would that have treated? Well over 10,000 people
12 could have been treated with that $10 million that they
14 MR. CROSS: Mr. Lane, could we -- I'd like to
15 into questions if we could, if at all possible.
16 MR. LANE: Do you mind if I do a summary then?
17 MR. CROSS: Sure.
18 MR. LANE: Okay. I was going to talk about the
19 causes, and you've got what I wrote down so you can look
20 those causes and you can see a lot of different things
21 could have caused it. The bottom line is this: don't
22 about what caused it, worry about getting these people
23 care of. They need to be taken care of. My goodness, we
24 can worry about the cause years from now.
25 But I'm going to tell you amazing things about
1 Hyman, just a very little here. My wife, she had her
2 bladder shut down for 14 weeks, she had to catheterize
3 herself, okay? Very serious business. She had two or
4 doctors looking at her, a urologist specialist, he
5 three -- twice, prescribed several different medications,
6 did no good at all.
7 I was worried about it, and I felt like, well, I
8 had bothered Dr. Hyman way too much already, but I called
9 him, I said, listen, got this problem right here. He
10 send me a urine sample. Sent him a urine sample, he
11 back and he said, okay, he said, I've identified it
12 her urine. I'm prescribing medication, and this should do
14 The fourth day, my wife didn't have to
15 herself, she started going on her own, you know. The man
16 knows what he's doing.
17 Another time she had a hernia operation and had
18 staph infection. Her own doctor didn't even know it. I
19 sent him a urine sample, he said that woman is practically
20 dead. You better get her in the hospital and get her
21 care of, get some antibiotics in her.
22 I told her doctor, he said hogwash, there's no
23 that he can detect that in the urine. So, he ran a
24 culture. A week later when the culture came back he said,
25 I've got to get her in the hospital right now. He put her
1 the hospital for the staph infection.
2 Everybody's called Dr. Hyman a quack. He's no
3 quack. The man's on top of things. The problem is the
4 is afraid of what he is going to find out.
5 See, my wife, she's not really had a full
6 treatment from Dr. Hyman, she's had those little bits and
7 pieces as it's come up. She still suffers from all the
8 other symptoms that Desert Storm people have so I've got
9 live with that the rest of my life because I doubt very
10 seriously our government's going to take care of the
12 Lastly, it's inhumane to have a treatment
13 available and not use it. I'm all the proof that you need
14 to show that there's something out there that works, and
15 these people need it.
16 MR. CROSS: Thank you, Mr. Lane.
17 Any questions from the panel?
18 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: I just have one question.
19 was reading your report on what you think might have
20 it. But was there a specific -- you mentioned a SCUD
21 explosion. Was there anything else in your experience in
22 the desert that you might think you might have had a
23 particular exposure?
24 MR. LANE: On one instance I took a convoy up
25 north, and on the way back we had to reposition a load on
1 trailer. And as I walked out in the desert, I found a
2 little mound I got on and I saw several dead animals,
3 thirty or forty. And as I looked around closer, I saw
4 discarded chemical biological gear had been left in place.
5 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Of the Iraqi -- from the Iraqi
7 MR. LANE: No, this was from -- this was on the
8 Saudi Arabian side.
9 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: So who were the owners of the
11 MR. LANE: It was our own military.
12 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Our own military?
13 MR. LANE: Yes, ma'am. There were some brand-
14 never-been-out-of-the-bag, CBR uniforms, okay? Now, do
15 know what that tells me? They left that area very
16 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: And why were you there in that
17 area? I'm sorry.
18 MR. LANE: We -- our tractor-trailer that we
19 bringing back from up north, the load had shifted and
20 fell off the tractor-trailer so I had my men to stop it
21 reposition it, and while they were repositioning, I just
22 walked out in the desert a little bit and saw all this.
23 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Did you have any chemical
24 detectors or anything go off while you were there in that
1 MR. LANE: When you're going on a convoy, you
2 don't take all that stuff with you. You just go and do
3 you got to do and then get back.
4 MR. CROSS: Any other questions?
5 (No response.)
6 MR. LANE: Thank you. Appreciate it.
7 MR. CROSS: I love my Seabees, too, by the way.
8 Tracy Gordon?
9 MS. GORDON: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
10 I'm Tracy Gordon. I was a soldier once, a jump-qualified
11 paratrooper with the 82nd Division. We fought the Gulf
12 and as a consequence of my service in that war I brought
13 home the Gulf War Syndrome.
14 According to published figures from the
15 government, 108,000 of us out of 700,000 who served are
16 listed on both Gulf War registries, the VA's and DOD's.
17 spite of continued denials by the Pentagon, something's
18 terribly wrong.
19 I'm sick like the rest of my peers, but there
20 others who can more eloquently address that issue. I'm
21 to speak to you specifically about my son, Dillon. Dillon
22 is three years old now, one of those children of a lesser
23 God struck down in my womb by horrible defects caused, I
24 believe, by the Syndrome. Dillon was born with autonomic
25 dysreflexia, a life-threatening disorder. It causes
1 complications in the spinal cord, high blood pressure,
2 stroke and even death. He has seven tumors in and around
3 his lungs, three tumors in his spine, and six tumors in
4 brain. His left kidney never formed, nor did his lungs,
5 his heart's enlarged. He has to take breathing treatments
6 every four hours through the trach tube in his neck. He's
7 fed through a G-tube in his stomach, and he's given
8 doses of medication including antibiotics for the reflex
9 his lungs and bladder.
10 Dillon is now paralyzed from the chest down and
11 continual pain. In one weak moment I asked his doctor if
12 was in pain. The doctor replied Dillon had never known a
13 day without it, so he knows no difference.
14 I have a part of a poem that means a great deal
15 me. I'd like to share it with you:
16 I watched her today, she has that feeling of
17 and independence that's so rare and so necessary in a
18 mother. You see the child I'm going to give her has his
19 world and she has to make it live in her world, and that's
20 not going to be easy. But, Lord, I don't think she even
21 believes in you. God smiles, no matter, I can fix that.
22 This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.
23 angel gasps, selfishness, is that a virtue? God nods. If
24 she can't separate herself from the child occasionally,
25 she'll never survive.
1 Yes, here is a woman who I will bless with a
2 less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she's
3 be envied. She'll never take for granted a spoken word.
4 She'll never consider a step ordinary, and when her child
5 says mama for the first time she'll be present at a
6 and know it. When she describes a tree or a sunset to
7 blind child, she'll see it as few people see creation.
8 permit her to see clearly the things I see -- ignorance,
9 cruelty and prejudice, and allow her to rise above them.
10 She will never be alone, I will be at her side every
11 of every day of her life because she is doing my work as
12 surely as she is here by my side.
13 Thank you for your indulgence. I ask one last
14 thing of you when you get back to Washington. Please
15 the President that his Veterans need help.
16 MR. CROSS: Thank you.
17 Any questions from the committee?
18 MS. GWIN: Do you know why you think you've got
19 Gulf War Syndrome?
20 MS. GORDON: I don't know exactly why, I just
21 I was in Desert Storm, I was in Saudi, and there were a
22 of SCUD attacks, and there were a lot of dead animals
23 me, and I was healthy before I went and I'm sick now. But
24 my son's the reason I'm here.
25 MS. GWIN: Are you seeking any treatment for
1 yourself at this time?
2 MS. GORDON: Yes, I go to a private doctor.
3 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: What kind of -- I'm curious,
4 what kind of treatment is your private physician
5 MS. GORDON: For me?
6 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: For you.
7 MS. GORDON: Just antibiotics and vitamins.
8 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Has it helped?
9 MS. GORDON: Yeah, some.
10 MS. GWIN: Tracy, what's the source of your
11 infection, and what are the antibiotics being prescribed
12 for, what symptoms?
13 MS. GORDON: I have bad diarrhea, continual
14 abdominal pains, and I have a mass on my left ovary that
15 grows and shrinks for no reason. They don't know why.
16 MR. BROWN: Was your son born just after you got
17 back from the Gulf or was --
18 MS. GORDON: He was born about a year after I
20 MR. CROSS: Tracy, is your husband a veteran
21 MS. GORDON: No. He was in the Marines, but he
22 wasn't in Saudi.
23 MS. KNOX: Did you go through the VA to have
24 exit physical after Desert Storm? Are you on the
25 MS. GORDON: I'm on the registries.
1 MS. KNOX: But you never had any treatment from
2 the VA?
3 MS. GORDON: No.
4 MR. CROSS: Tracy, thank you very much.
5 Sterling Sims.
6 MR. SIMS: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm Sterling
7 Sims. I was a member of an NMCB 24, a reserve battalion
8 that was sent to the Persian Gulf. I went as far north as
9 the International Airport in Kuwait City.
10 What I would like to do is tell you how on
11 the 20th, the 19th or 20th, there was a huge explosion
12 our camp at night. We was all in bed asleep. Immediately
13 the alarm went off and we was told to go to Mach 4.
14 We went to the bunkers. There was a heavy odor
15 ammonia in the air. By the time we got to the bunkers, if
16 we didn't have all of our chemical gear on, your skin was
17 burning, stinging, itching, your eyes were watering from
18 that ammonia smell.
19 That was passed off as a sonic boom. It is
20 in four different log books of that battalion which was
21 command bunker post log books, the quarterdeck log books,
22 radio communication log books and also the security log
23 books, that there was a fireball in the air.
24 The next day it was passed off as a sonic
25 You do not get a sonic boom from a fireball. There was
1 Patriot station within I'd say four or five miles of our
2 camp, and we were told that the Patriot knocked a missile
3 out of the air.
4 Now, the President -- Congress passed a law, the
5 President signed this into law, it was passed on to the
6 Pentagon, for $3.4 million to go to Dr. Hyman for the
7 treatment of the Persian Gulf veterans.
8 There is a Dr. Joseph that is an undersecretary
9 the Department of Defense that has had this money tied up
10 along with a General Blank who is in charge of Walter Reed
11 Hospital, and there is a Colonel Bancroft at Ft. Dietrich,
12 Maryland. These three men have had this money tied up.
13 It's been in the law I'm going to say two
14 To this day it has never been released for the treatment
15 the Persian Gulf veterans. I would like to see that
16 released also.
17 I'm from the state of Alabama. Alabama sent
18 veterans to the Persian Gulf than any other state. I
19 requested three or four times for this panel to meet
20 somewhere in Alabama and hold a committee meeting in
21 Alabama. This has not been done. I have not been told to
22 whether it is planning on being done or not. We
23 respectfully to request this committee meeting, one of
24 to take place somewhere in the state of Alabama.
25 I can furnish you the Air Force, Air and
1 Guard, I can furnish you the Marine Corps, I can furnish
2 the National Guard and the Navy to testify.
3 Now, I would like for you all to bear with me
4 just a minute because I'm going to take a part of my
5 off and show you all one of my problems. I have been to
6 Hyman, I have been treated. As long as I stay on his
7 medication I'm fine. When I get off of it, I start
8 back out. And this has been going on since 1992.
9 MR. CROSS: Mr. Simmons (sic), is -- do you
10 this is really necessary? I --
11 MR. SIMS: I'd like for you all to see what I've
12 got here.
13 VOICE: See it, yes.
14 MR. SIMS: I'll just strip to my waist.
15 MR. CROSS: I guess my point is I don't doubt
16 I'm going to see something. I --
17 VOICE: Have you been over there?
18 MR. CROSS: Yes, ma'am, I have.
19 MR. SIMS: Sir?
20 MR. CROSS: Go ahead.
21 MR. SIMS: (Demonstrating) Do you all see these
22 sores? They started out on the back of my neck, from
23 they went on my arms. All these white spots are scars
24 the sore has been. You can see on my back, you can see
25 they traveled.
1 As long as I stay on Dr. Hyman's medication,
2 sores dry up and they disappear. I'm back on his
3 now because I started breaking back out.
4 The VA has never been able to do one thing for
5 these sores, and I've been going to them since about 1993.
6 MR. CROSS: Okay. I think we get the point.
7 MR. SIMS: Thank you.
8 MR. CROSS: Are there any questions from the
9 for Mr. Sims?
10 Is it Sims or Simmons?
11 MR. SIMS: Sims. I appreciate you all's time
12 trouble in bearing with me.
13 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Mr. Sims --
14 MR. CROSS: We have a couple questions for you.
15 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: -- we have a couple questions
16 for you.
17 MR. CROSS: I don't know if you want to get
18 dressed while we're answering questions.
19 MR. SIMS: Okay. I was wanting to get my
20 back on.
21 MR. CROSS: Go ahead. Get your clothes back
22 MR. SIMS: No, go ahead. I'll wait.
23 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: That's fine. The others that
24 served in your group, are they ill with the same symptoms
25 or --
1 MR. SIMS: It varies. Some of them have
2 We've got men that is in wheelchairs that are totally
3 confined to wheelchairs that have not been able to work a
4 day since they were back -- got back from over there.
5 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Are they receiving any kind
6 assistance from the VA to your knowledge?
7 MR. SIMS: One man has got 100 percent
8 I'd say 99 and 9/10ths percent of anybody that has filed
9 disabilities has been turned down. That includes me.
10 DR. CUSTIS: Is that the extent of your problem?
11 Do you have other symptoms?
12 MR. SIMS: No, sir. I have the whole nine yards
13 of it. The tiredness, the fatigue, memory loss, the whole
14 nine yards of it. This here is the most visible.
15 DR. CUSTIS: Do those lesions itch?
16 MR. SIMS: Itch and burn and sting like fire.
17 DR. CUSTIS: Do you scratch them?
18 MR. SIMS: I do in my sleep. I can control
19 that --
20 DR. CUSTIS: Is there any bleeding from those
22 MR. SIMS: Yes, sir. I can go to bed at night
23 get up the next morning, and where they have bled I have
24 change my T-shirt.
25 My wife keeps my underwear separate, she keeps
1 towels and washcloths separate from hers.
2 DR. CUSTIS: Does your wife have any of those
4 MR. SIMS: Yes, sir. No -- no, no. Not the
5 lesions. She's got a rash. But she's got basically the
6 same symptoms I've got. We have been -- both have been to
7 Dr. Hyman in New Orleans and been treated by him.
8 He found -- let me say this, he found the
9 streptococcus germ in both our urines. I went down
10 he found a fresh sore on my back. He made a slide of
11 sore, and it had a yeast infection in it. Now, the only
12 time I've ever heard of a yeast infection is with a --
13 concerning a woman.
14 DR. CUSTIS: Do you know what medication he's
16 MR. SIMS: That I'm using?
17 DR. CUSTIS: Right.
18 MR. SIMS: Yes, sir. I'm using Clendomyacin.
19 use a -- I take 150 milligram tablets, and I take about
20 twelve of them a day, sometimes more.
21 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: You said Clendomyacin?
22 MR. SIMS: Clendomyacin, yes, ma'am.
23 MR. CROSS: Do you have recurrence? I mean,
24 the illness go away and then after a period of time comes
1 MR. SIMS: I take -- I take such strong dosages
2 that Clendomyacin until it can get you into a problem with
3 your intestines. I have had two operations in past years
4 my intestines, so I'm kind of scared to stay on it
5 continuously. I take it until the sores clear up and
6 get off of it. When I start breaking back out again,
7 have to get back on it. I do not take it constantly on
8 account of it can give you problems in your intestinal
10 MR. CROSS: Who's paying for these treatments
12 MR. SIMS: I pay for my expense down to New
13 Orleans out of my own pocket. Dr. Hyman has not charged
14 first veteran one red penny for any of his treatment, not
15 the first. He has not charged me, and I have offered to
16 him. I have offered my insurance to him. He will not
17 accept it, he will not accept it on my wife.
18 MR. CROSS: You don't get the prescription
19 the VA or anything like that?
20 MR. SIMS: In the last couple of months I have
21 a doctor at the VA to prescribe small amounts of
22 Clendomyacin for me. Other than that I've been paying it
23 out of my own pocket. But that has just taken place in
24 last couple of months.
25 MR. TURNER: Mr. Sims, the incident you
1 with the explosion, that was outside Al Jubail; is that
3 MR. SIMS: It was over Camp 13 at Al Jubail.
4 MR. TURNER: I see. Did you personally see a
6 MR. SIMS: I was in the bed asleep. This took
7 place like say 2:00 or 3:00 o'clock in the morning.
8 MR. TURNER: I see.
9 MR. SIMS: Security did see it.
10 MR. TURNER: And you spoke to them later and
11 told you about this?
12 MR. SIMS: Right. And it was -- Senator Shelby
13 from Alabama subpoenaed those log books to his office.
14 was allowed to look at part of those log books. Part of
15 was classified, he couldn't look at that. But it
16 what I stated, I'm going to say in 1993 when I testified
17 before the Senate Armed Service Committee in Washington,
18 D.C., before all the Surgeon Generals of the military.
19 MR. TURNER: Did you feel any symptoms or
20 in the time immediately after that incident personally?
21 MR. SIMS: In about 1992 is when I started.
22 a year after I got back from over there, that's when I
23 started having my problems.
24 MR. TURNER: Thank you very much.
25 MR. CROSS: Any other questions?
1 (No response.)
2 Mr. Sims, thank you very much.
3 MR. SIMS: Thank you. Appreciate it.
4 MR. LANE: I've got a comment on that SCUD. I
5 an eyewitness when that happened.
6 MR. CROSS: Yeah, I did notice that you were in
7 the same unit as Mr. Sims.
8 MR. LANE: I was a detail officer when it
9 happened, and I can verify that it did happen. When it
10 happened, I was in the command post. It shook the whole
11 command post. I went outside, two people were smoking
12 cigarettes and saw it. I came back in and listened to
13 radio traffic and they gave the exact coordinates. It
14 mile and a half north of the camp, 550 yards up in the
15 and so therefore when it goes up and starts back down
16 in a trajectory where it would be it would have ended up
17 right in our camp or close to it.
18 But they sent out CPR teams and they started
19 getting positive readings and the radio network that
20 them just like that (indicating). The next morning when
21 CO put out word that it was sonic booms, he was lying
22 through his teeth.
23 MR. CROSS: Thank you, Mr. Lane.
24 Lester Hallman.
25 MR. HALLMAN: Good morning, ladies and
1 My name is James Lester Hallman. I'm 47 years
2 old, I have spent approximately 27 years affiliated with
3 military in one branch or the other. I spent a one-year
4 tour in Vietnam, rejoined the Reserve program and spent
5 six month-tour in Saudi Arabia.
6 I would like to tell you a little bit about
7 myself. I'm married to a school teacher, a 42-year-old
8 school teacher who has had problems since I have been
9 I have two teenage sons, 19 and 16, both of which have had
10 problems since I have been home.
11 I came back from Saudi Arabia with the major
12 portion of the problems, and they continually
13 until I got to the point where I could not function.
14 I have lived on a farm all my life, I worked
15 Public Works as a mechanic welder. I worked average of
16 sixty hours a week at the Public Works plus I farm, I
17 350-acre cattle farm, run about 150 head of cattle. I do
18 most of the work myself, or did, I do not now. My dad
19 me, my dad's 77 years old. He has taken up the slack, he
20 and my two teenage sons have taken up the slack since I
21 been home from Saudi Arabia.
22 I cannot or could not get out and work over
23 minutes on the farm. I got to the point where I could not
24 climb. My job consists of climbing belt runways and
25 continually. I got to the point where I couldn't carry my
1 body physically up them, much less the tools that I needed
2 to do my job.
3 In 1993 I went to see Dr. Hyman, and Dr. Hyman
4 treated my whole family. Myself, I spent 12 days in the
5 hospital with him. Now, Dr. Hyman will tell you up
6 that he does not have the perfect cure, but he did help
8 When I went to him my blood gases were down to
9 point of me being in a wheelchair. Within the first week
10 blood gases were back to almost normal. I'm still on the
11 treatment. My wife has to take periodic treatment. My
12 oldest son has not taken any treatment in over a year. My
13 youngest son is currently on the treatment.
14 Dr. Hyman will tell you up front that it's not
15 perfect cure, but it is the only help that we have had as
16 veterans group. I have spent an average of sixty days a
17 year since 1993 with the VA. I've got a file folder that
18 several inches thick from the VA. I have been told that I
19 am crazy by a VA doctor, but he will not document it
20 of my physical problems. He told me I was normal and well
21 adjusted as we spoke on the record, but when I explained
22 physical ailments he told me I was crazy and I could not
23 walking around.
24 I have a temperature differential from the
25 My temperature runs from 95 to 97 degrees on an average,
1 which I have documentation of through an industrial nurse
2 my plant, taken once a day, usually around 6:30 in the
3 morning, and it will run from, like I say, 95 to 97
4 My pulse rate varies greatly, my blood pressure varies.
5 this so-called doctor with the VA told me I was crazy, but
6 he would not document it.
7 The military tells us we're crazy now -- well,
8 maybe not crazy, but we have a mental disorder. The VA
9 likes to talk about things, but they don't want to do.
10 have helped me very little. There are some people within
11 the VA system that will listen to you. We have some in
13 But as the most part, they are under the old
14 of thumb as far as their thinking: if you are not
15 or physically hurt in the military in the combat zone,
16 don't deserve anything.
17 We have people dying, you've already heard
18 testimony to this this morning. We have people dying, we
19 have people that are put in wheelchairs daily. I'm a
20 personal example of that because I was to the point of
21 losing my job when I went to see Dr. Hyman.
22 My biggest kick is what kind of choke hold does
23 the United States military have on our government. Mr.
24 stated that the money has been approved for research with
25 Dr. Hyman. The military has got it held up. Why? It's a
1 law. Our President and our Congress have passed it,
2 it and put it into effect, but the military, the DOD has
3 this thing held up.
4 I am in hopes that you will give us a favorable
5 report and get something done about this. This is one of
6 the few things that we can do.
7 Thank you for your time.
8 MR. CROSS: Thank you, Mr. Hallman.
9 Any questions from the panel?
10 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: I'll go back to some of the
11 issues I asked before regarding exposures.
12 Were you stationed in a particular area where
13 there were SCUD missile attacks or some other --
14 MR. HALLMAN: Yes, ma'am. Mr. Sims and Mr. Lane
15 are both out of my unit. I was present the night of the
16 missile attack. I was shaken completely out of my bunk
17 the explosion went off.
18 I do differ a little bit from some of the
19 on that as far as the -- I don't doubt that we weren't hit
20 with something there, but I also firmly believe that the
21 area had been oversprayed beforehand.
22 I spent approximately three months on the road
23 close to the Saudi-Kuwaiti border doing road work,
24 construction work. I personally went through numerous
25 animal kills. And from my personal experience with
1 an animal when it's dying will struggle in some way. It
2 will move its legs, its feet, its head, its tail. You
3 see some physical evidence on the ground where that animal
4 has struggled. These animals did not. They died at rest
5 with their legs folded and their heads cradled.
6 And it wasn't just small numbers. We went
7 kills from fifty to several hundred animals.
8 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Do you mean several hundred?
9 MR. HALLMAN: Yes, ma'am.
10 MR. CROSS: And you attribute their death to --
11 what do you attribute their death to?
12 MR. HALLMAN: Well, there was a little green bag
13 attached to most of the carcasses, and from my
14 of the chemical situation, chemical and biological
15 in the military, that that was a marker for chemical and
16 biological agents.
17 MR. CROSS: Did these animals appear to have
18 in herds or were they stacked on the side of the road?
19 There have been reports that -- from the Pentagon at least
20 that one of the ways that people that live in Saudi Arabia
21 took care of animals when they were sick was they killed
22 them and stacked them by the side of the road. You're
23 this is not what happened?
24 MR. HALLMAN: No, sir. There was no way.
25 animals were surrounding an area, we'll say a water
1 a feed bunker of some kind. They were not piled up, they
2 were -- they were spaced out like they had been brought
3 for a night's rest and died at rest.
4 MR. CROSS: Did you observe any insects around
5 animals or was there -- did you --
6 MR. HALLMAN: Very few.
7 MR. CROSS: That's significant because? Does
8 lack of insects mean something to you special?
9 MR. HALLMAN: I would say that there was
10 there to keep the insects away.
11 MR. CROSS: Okay. Go ahead, Mark.
12 MR. BROWN: Thanks.
13 Mr. Hallman, you mentioned that you visited a VA
14 doctor. Was this visit -- you probably answered this and
15 just missed it, but did the physician, the VA physician,
16 provide some kind of written diagnosis of what he thought
17 your medical situation was?
18 MR. HALLMAN: They have diagnosed me with
19 problems: gallstones, liver disorders, hearing loss.
20 Numerous. I've had three negative biopsies on my liver.
21 I've got a, just a great list of problems that I have, but
22 as far as treatment, no.
23 Arthritis is a main problem. I get up and
24 continually hurt, which the VA has not told me that I
25 gene for hereditary arthritis. Dr. Hyman told me this in
1 New Orleans with one blood test. He said you'll have
2 problems with this the rest of your life.
3 That is one of the only medications that the VA
4 has given me, and I've had numerous. But they did
5 a -- and I can't call the name of the prescription, but it
6 has helped to some degree.
7 But at the present time, from my waist down is
8 just like a toothache, all the bones in my body. Dr.
9 has given me injections of cortisone at different times in
10 different joints to help me be mobile.
11 MR. BROWN: Thanks.
12 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Are you also taking any
13 antibiotic treatment?
14 MR. HALLMAN: Periodically, yes, ma'am.
16 MR. CROSS: Thank you, Mr. Hallman.
17 MR. HALLMAN: Thank you.
18 MR. CROSS: Louis Lodge.
19 MR. LODGE: Good morning, panel. Good
21 My name is Louis Lodge. I suffer from
22 neuritis, Minears and I have ulcers and esophagitis
24 During the time when I first discovered I had
25 vestibular neuritis and Minears disease, it was 24 days
1 after I landed back from the United States -- I mean,
2 back into the United States from Desert Storm. I noticed
3 that I couldn't stand up straight, and that this bright
4 light was really killing me. That's what vestibular
5 neuritis does, it affects the nerve from the inner ear to
6 the eye.
7 During that time I went to the VA and they told
8 that nothing was wrong with me. And I got from the point
9 nothing being wrong with you to the point where you can't
10 prove what's wrong with you. Over the time I spent some
11 $37,000 proving the VA wrong, and as of yesterday -- and
12 first I want to apologize for faxing you all that 75-page
13 document, I'm the one who did that -- showing you how the
14 rating boards will suppress evidence. Instead of
15 the symptomatology of any disease, they would rather
16 suppress it.
17 I have been given, been offered mind-altering
18 drugs instead of given independent examinations to find
19 what is wrong with me. Why can I not see? Why can I not
20 see straight? I have been offered --
21 MR. CROSS: Mr. Lodge, can you get closer to the
22 microphone? I want everybody to hear this.
23 Thank you.
24 MR. LODGE: I have been given the wrong
25 medication, I was -- for my ulcers and esophageal reflex
1 disease, I was given Cortisone. And I started to bring
2 the almost 60 prescriptions of medication; I've got the
3 bottles. I've been offered Valium, all kinds of drugs,
4 instead of independent examination to find out what's
5 with me.
6 So during that time I went to the PruCare, my
7 and they gave me the best doctors money can buy, and they
8 were the ones who said, look, let's forget about what VA
9 doing, okay, let's just start from scratch. And they were
10 the ones who found, said, well, this hypertension
11 medication, yeah your blood pressure is up a little bit,
12 you suffer from reflex disease and ulcers.
13 So they were telling me that hypertension, the
14 four ulcers I had in my stomach were based on
15 And they were telling me that Minears Disease, which there
16 is no diagnostic test for, which is a clinical diagnosis,
17 comes from hypertension. And they were telling me that
18 vestibular neuritis I suffered comes from hypertension.
19 Well, I proved them wrong. I proved it, I went
20 and I got information from Harvard Medical School that
21 prove everything that I said. So my problem now is not
22 really with the VA Medical Center because I went and got
23 doctors that I needed to prove what's wrong with me.
24 My problem, my real problem and every man's
25 problem out here now, is with the rating boards. Their
1 ability to fight the government, the -- fighting the
2 government's not an easy task. And they will fight us and
3 they have fought us every step of the way. They have
4 us -- you get on the telephone and you ask for help and
5 and get some help, and it gets a little hostile over the
6 phone, even with Secretary Brown's executive assistant,
7 name is Tyrone Brown -- Hermes. Very nasty, very nasty
8 over the telephone. He's called -- I've been called
9 dumb, ignorant, irrelevant, obnoxious and all kinds of
10 names. When you start addressing the law to them and the
11 VA's duty to assist us in developing our claim they'll
12 you that they don't have a duty to assist. When the VA
13 doesn't do its job we all hurt.
14 And so the first thing I would say for this
15 the first paragraph when you make your report out I would
16 like for you to say that the VA has the potential to be a
17 mecca for all veterans, to be the best service, the best
18 medical care that money can buy, the best system. We have
19 the best defense, we have the best armed forces in the
20 world, we should at least have adequate medical services.
21 When you make your report, the first paragraph
22 should say that the VA could be a field of cotton but
23 got to get the boll weevils out of it. That's what the
24 problem is. You've got significant people in significant
25 places within the VA system that's causing all this
1 It's probably the Undersecretary of Benefits who will
2 instruct the regional offices to engage in unlawful
3 in denying the claim, engage in evidence suppression, and
4 not fully doing their jobs in completing the
6 If the government doesn't have the answer, we
7 certainly don't have the answer. We don't have the
8 capability, we don't have the CDC at our control and our
9 disposal, and we don't have the National Institute of
10 at our control and at our disposal, and we don't have
11 kind of -- the Academy of Science at our disposal to
12 us. We can't get the best doctors that the government
13 and we're not getting the help that we need.
14 They refused, they have actually refused to do
15 symptomatology. These are things that the law requires.
16 They will suppress, these people are engaging in behavior
17 that is outside the ramifications of Article 2 of the
18 Constitution. They are going outside of the powers, they
19 make up new laws as they go along, they manipulate as they
20 go along. And as long as you all allow them to do it, and
21 if you don't bring it to the attention of the President,
22 we'll never get anything.
23 This is a matter of public confidence. It is a
24 matter of public confidence. When you send people to war,
25 they ought to have some confidence that they can come back
1 and come to the very agency that was designed and intended
2 to assist them. They ought to be able to have some
3 confidence that they can come back to them and say, hey, I
4 can come here and get some help.
5 Every man out here -- and I'm a counselor at the
6 Georgia Department of Labor, and I meet veterans, I
7 veterans every day, and I'm going to tell you, I see more
8 vets come in, they're sick, they have lost their homes,
9 their families, they can't work, and they go to the VA
10 help all they get is the shaft. There ain't nothing
11 with you. They would rather give us mind-altering drugs
12 than an independent examination to find out what's wrong
13 with you.
14 Now just recently, as of yesterday I had to go
15 the VA hospital, they told me that they want to be my
16 primary caregiver. Well, now, I had a slight problem
17 that. The very physician assistant that told me he wants
18 be my primary caregiver is the same physician assistant
19 gave me the wrong medication.
20 I spent $37,000 proving him wrong, and I
21 have to do that. I shouldn't have to do that. It is a
22 matter of confidence that the government of the United
23 States will uphold its agreement that those they send to
24 and those they send into hostile situations and harm's way
25 that they would take care of them upon getting injured.
1 Every man in here has a horror story to tell. I
2 have one. I walked around with Cortisone, 180 milligram
3 Cortisone for ulcers. Slowed my heart down 46 beats a
4 minute and I had ulcers. These lights are killing me, all
5 right? And I can't read like I used to read. I can't see
6 as far as I used to see. Now, instead of giving me an eye
7 doctor, I remember telling them when I go to the hospital
8 and I asked to see an eye doctor, they called the police
10 So, it's at a point now where all we have --
11 when I talk about these boll weevils, if it wasn't for
12 weevils inside the VA, we wouldn't have no need for you
13 here being here right now. You got some rotten people
14 inside that administration that's doing everything they
15 to suppress the information and the evidence.
16 That's hurting these people, that's hurting
17 veterans. They sick. These are real, live illnesses.
18 you know what? I know people right now, these guys, if
19 wasn't for my private doctor, if it wasn't for PruCare, I
20 would have stomach cancer right now, if they didn't stop
21 what was going on with me.
22 MR. CROSS: Mr. Lodge, can we get into some
23 questions from the panel?
24 MR. LODGE: Yes.
25 DR. CUSTIS: Can you tell us how you went
1 spending $37,000?
2 MR. LODGE: Yes.
3 DR. CUSTIS: What did you receive for it?
4 MR. LODGE: Say that one more time, sir.
5 DR. CUSTIS: What did you receive for $37,000?
6 MR. LODGE: I have eleven doctors, eleven
7 They started from scratch. They did every test that they
8 were supposed to do.
9 They started with the blood tests, they started
10 with examinations. Emergency rooms are very expensive. I
11 have constantly gone through emergency rooms. I thought I
12 was having a heart attack at the time, but I didn't know I
13 had reflex disease and so much acid was running back up to
14 my esophagus, it was so painful I thought I was having a
15 heart attack. So they thought I was having a heart attack
16 too, until they found out that it wasn't my heart, just
17 I had ulcers.
18 DR. CUSTIS: This is all -- this is doctors'
19 that amounts to $37,000?
20 MR. LODGE: That's doctor fees, hospital fees.
21 DR. CUSTIS: You were hospitalized?
22 MR. LODGE: Basically I was able to rush myself
23 the emergency room.
24 DR. CUSTIS: Were you hospitalized?
25 MR. LODGE: No, I was never hospitalized because
1 they didn't see anything wrong with my heart. They saw
2 it was ulcers.
3 MR. CROSS: And this is civilian care you're
5 MR. LODGE: This is civilian care, yes, sir.
6 MS. TAYLOR: Where were you stationed in the
7 and were your experiences similar to the others that have
8 testified before as regarding a chemical exposure or
9 anything like that?
10 MR. LODGE: It has to be. I was stationed at
11 T.A.A. Campbell. I was with the 101st Airborne Division.
12 And I have actually met people in other battalions that
13 were no more than a mile to a mile and a half away from me
14 stationed, the battalions were stationed that far away
15 it's coming back. I got headaches, I get dizzy, I got
16 ulcers. So we got something out there. The 101st
17 under something.
18 And I know for a fact the first night --
19 second night I was there we came under massive
20 attack from our own Air Force, and I don't know exactly
21 could have happened. All I can remember, I kept my head
22 down, the ground was shaking very hard, and I just stayed
23 down and just kind of prayed that I'd wake up in the
24 morning. And that's basically all I can tell you.
25 But there are other veterans who are sick, same
1 problems I have.
2 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Similar problems, you have
3 vestibular neuritis and ulcers you mentioned, are there
4 other -- because the other symptoms that I've heard a lot
5 about were the chronic fatigue and some of the other --
6 MR. LODGE: Well, what happens is,
7 neuritis and Minears is so draining, for some reason
8 drains you of your energy. It really drains you of all
9 energy. And the 24 days, May 1, when I came back to the
10 U.S. I went to the audiology and I told them, I can't
11 up straight, and then I've got pressure and fullness in
12 ears. And it's taken four years to find a diagnosis only
13 because no one tried.
14 I never saw a professional doctor, I never saw
15 specialist in the military. If there -- and there are no
16 tests to prove Minears, okay. And since there were no
17 and the tests that there were done on me in the military,
18 didn't show nothing, it says your hearing is normal. It's
19 not about hearing, it's a nerve problem.
20 And so when you never get the right kind of
21 medicine in the military, the VA just said, well, it don't
22 exist. And there it is. But they don't try to do the
23 symptomatology, even though I had documents showing that
24 symptoms are there.
25 MR. CROSS: Thank you, Mr. Lodge. Thank you for
1 your time.
2 MS. KNOX: Can I ask a question, Tom?
3 MR. CROSS: Oh, okay.
4 MS. KNOX: I want to see, do you presently
5 any compensation from the VA system?
6 MR. LODGE: Yes, I get -- I have ten percent for
7 hypertension, that's the diagnosis that the Army gave me
8 which it was not all that was wrong. And I receive ten
9 percent for a back injury.
10 I caught a 400-pound crate from falling on
11 soldier and it jarred the vertebras in my back. And other
12 than that, that's what they told me, they said, we'll
13 getting something and then, you know, that ought to be
15 So it's -- it's kind of a nasty situation that
16 we're having to contend with with the VA.
17 MR. CROSS: Thank you very much for your
19 Karen Tallhamer.
20 MS. TALLHAMER: Good morning, ladies and
22 My name is Karen Tallhamer. I was assigned
23 the 265th Combat Engineers out of Georgia with the
24 Army National Guard. I served under the 101st Airborne.
25 I was one that was selected to participate in
1 victory celebration in the Washington and New York. I
2 also been selected along with Tracy Gordon as one of the
3 twenty women soldiers who will be featured in the book
4 Storm. _____
5 I'm sorry, excuse me, I got lost here.
6 Our personal memorabilia gathered for the book
7 being archived into the Women at War collection at the
8 University in Denton. I have indeed been lucky to be in
9 this book.
10 Shortly after I returned home I became ill. And
11 with me being National Guard, I went down to Fort Gordon
12 get treatment, and I was told, well, it's just after-
13 effects, you're just -- it's just your nerves, it's just
14 this, it's just that, and you know, they'd hand me a
15 bit of Valium, they'd hand me something for my nerves and
16 says go on home. Well, it never got better, it just kept
17 getting worse and worse.
18 At this time I'm being treated for chronic
19 fatigue, chronic headaches, chronic depression, chronic
20 joint and muscle pains. I have stomach pains and I have
21 cluster migraine headaches to the point that it has
22 me. I do not work at this time.
23 When I went to the Veterans Administration for
24 help -- I had to have emergency surgery and have my
25 gallbladder removed -- when I went to the Veterans
1 Administration I was turned away and had to have this
2 surgery done on my own and at my own expense.
3 When I finally got into Keesler Air Force Base
4 was there for three and a half weeks and was actually
5 diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome or Gulf War Illness.
6 My unit still at this time had not
7 the fact nor had they put me on orders, so all the
8 fell on me and my husband, Sergeant Tallhamer, because
9 Air Force.
10 We had to cut off my treatment and I had to go
11 home because we could no longer stand there and take any
12 more of the bills that it was costing us to be there.
13 against the Doctor's will we came back home.
14 I continued to get more and more ill every day.
15 have a Dr. Gore, which is a major out of the U.S. Air
16 that has been treating me. And so far over the last year
17 and a half I've been on over 150 different medications.
18 only thing they do know how to do is treat the symptoms.
19 It's because it's the same thing, they don't know what it
20 is, and if they know what it is, they haven't told us.
21 They're not treating us. I've been fighting
22 VA for nearly two years for VA benefits which I have yet
23 get. Every time I call them I'm being told that I am
24 being reviewed, I am still being reviewed. Up until
25 point they have been reviewing me for two years. There's
1 not a whole lot more they could know about me at this
2 I was also informed that the VA in Nashville,
3 Tennessee, which was unbeknown to me, has no telephone
4 lines, so there is no way for me to check my VA claim in
6 My illness has gotten to my short-term memory,
7 my illness has gotten to a point that the financial burden
8 that it has put on me and my husband -- my husband is
9 years Air Force and was up until a couple of months ago
10 until he was cashiered out of the Air Force for
11 instability because of the illnesses and the expense
12 it's cost me and my husband to keep up with my
13 Now, not once during the time that we've gone
14 through these financial burdens has anyone in his chain
15 command, or mine either one, picked up the phone and
16 and said are you all right, is there anything we can do
18 As soon as we started having financial
19 and they started saying, okay, why aren't you paying your
20 bills, and he's saying, well, I explained to you, I've
21 very ill wife. Her unit is doing absolutely nothing to
22 her bills.
23 Well, this wasn't good enough for the U.S.
24 military. The fact that they were 11 months behind on my
25 disability pay didn't make a difference. The only thing
1 they looked at is that we were behind on our bills, and
2 were not financially meeting our obligations which made
3 husband financially instable. So they have taken his
4 military career away from him.
5 Well, at this point that leaves me with no VA,
6 that leaves me with no way of getting medical help, and
7 were already having financial problems and now they're
8 putting my husband out.
9 My husband is starting to come down with the
10 symptoms I was. We both are vets. He was there, he was
11 the Persian Gulf twice; I was there once for nine, in-
12 country for over nine and a half months.
13 They have refused to acknowledge the fact that
14 this is an illness. This is real, this is not something
15 that's in our heads. We are really ill, and this has
16 -- my son, you can normally count -- I've got an 18-year-
17 son. Normally within every three weeks he comes down with
18 bronchitis. He is constantly staying ill. I'm constantly
19 ill and on antibiotics. Most of the time I can't remember
20 from day to day what I've done or said or who I've talked
22 Now on top of all the other strains, we've got
23 worry about where our income is going to come from, how
24 my medical bills going to be met? because the VA is still
25 reviewing my case, although I do have proof from the major
1 that is treating me that I am 100 percent disabled and
2 cannot function in a civilian or a military job.
3 My National Guard unit out of the state of
4 has got me on 100 percent incapacability --
5 They're saying I cannot function in my military job, but
6 the VA has still not given me any form of an answer at
7 Now the country that I went and fought for, me
8 my husband are fighting against. They took twelve years
9 career away from him, they're fixing to take his VA rights
10 away from him and, you know, where do you find that --
11 do you find that fair that not only are they -- has they -
12 have they dropped him in rank after twelve years of
13 but they're also saying that he didn't even go over there.
14 He won't even have VA benefits. And this is all because
15 he's got a sick wife at home.
16 And there's -- there's -- you know, we are
17 fighting, and we've been fighting hard, and we've spoke,
18 the book, Sand Storm will get my story out. Many of us,
19 twenty of us women that will be in this book, it's going
20 help get our story out. But it's not going to pay our
21 bills. It's not going to make our illnesses go away and
22 it's not going to make them any better.
23 Unless Washington realizes that our illnesses
24 real and that they are communicable because my son gets --
25 is sick from here, from me, my husband has problems
1 of my problems. Our sexual life has gone down to nothing
2 because of the problems that we have, because of the
3 We -- I mean, any time that we come in contact with each
4 other we both get rashes so bad that we have to be
5 treated for it.
6 Now these are not things that we're just
7 inventing, these are things that are actually happening,
8 because we see the same doctor.
9 MR. CROSS: Ms. Tallhamer, I'd like to move into
10 some questions from the panel, if we might.
11 MS. TALLHAMER: Okay.
12 MR. CROSS: Anybody on the panel?
13 MS. KNOX: Could you tell us what the military
14 saying is the reason for your discharge? I mean, what's
15 final word on your husband's pending discharge from the
17 MS. TALLHAMER: Financial instability.
18 MS. KNOX: And you're saying that he has lost
19 ability to go to the VA upon that discharge?
20 MS. TALLHAMER: Once he leaves, because of the
21 form of discharge that he's going to get, being financial
22 instability, he's going to get an under honorable which
23 means he loses his VA rights.
24 Now not only are they telling me that I'm not
25 but they're also telling my husband no longer do you have
1 rights, which is trying to erase the fact that he was ever
2 even there.
3 Now no matter what they say, no matter what the
4 government does, no matter what Washington does, what we
5 have is real. It's not going to go away regardless of
6 kind of decision Washington makes. We are still going to
7 ill, we are still dying from this disease, and we still
8 help. And it's a shame that we're having to go to private
9 facilities to receive this help when the government that
10 us over there should be the government that should be
11 care of us. We had faith in them, we fought for this
12 government, and this government no longer has faith in us.
13 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Are you receiving treatment
14 currently through the VA?
15 MS. TALLHAMER: Yes, I am, but it's only because
16 my husband is active duty. Not through the VA I am not.
17 has --
18 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: The medical, this is through
19 medical assistance through the --
20 MS. TALLHAMER: Up until he is discharged in a
21 week and a half, yes, I still do have medical. He will be
22 discharged in a week and a half from the Air Force after
23 twelve years.
24 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: And now, what kind of
25 are they saying for you illnesses?
1 MS. TALLHAMER: For my illnesses?
2 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Yes.
3 MS. TALLHAMER: I have chronic cluster fatigue
4 headaches, migraine headaches on a daily basis, chronic
5 depression, chronic joint and muscle aches. I also have
6 stomach problems, a lot of stomach problems. I also
7 from post-traumatic stress.
8 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: So what kind of treatment are
9 you receiving?
10 MS. TALLHAMER: Every two weeks when I see the
11 doctor I'm given a different drug. At this point they --
12 is only treating -- he is a wonderful doctor, so don't get
13 me wrong, because he's only doing what he knows to do and
14 that's treat the symptoms, because he has no more
15 information to this.
16 So, you know, I get up every morning taking nine
17 different pills three times a day. And is this curing
18 No, because they've got to turn around and give me another
19 drug to combat one of the other drugs that they've given
20 that's helping one problem, but causing another problem.
21 Now once my husband's discharged, my medical
22 ceases at that time. My husband is starting to show signs
23 of the Gulf War Syndrome, and he won't have any VA.
24 I had a five-week-old son when I went into
25 My son was five weeks old. My parents legally adopted
1 child because he doesn't know who I am. I thank God at
2 point that my parents did adopt that child because as
3 contagious as this is, he would now have these problems.
4 Although I love that child with all my heart and it tears
5 up not to have him with me, it was a choice we had to make
6 in his behalf because you don't come back after a year and
7 say, no, I am your mother. And it would get to a point
8 where I would not be able to take care of him.
9 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: I just have one other question
10 and then I'll let -- the financial problems that you
11 currently have, is that a result of moneys that you've
12 outside of the medical treatment you've received from your
13 husband's --
14 MS. TALLHAMER: Yes.
15 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Okay.
16 MS. TALLHAMER: And as a matter of fact, I've
17 still got over, coming up on $20,000 that is at the credit
18 bureau right now because of medical bills the VA turned me
19 away for to where I had to have surgeries.
20 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: These medical bills were from
21 private physicians?
22 MS. TALLHAMER: Where I had to go to private
24 DR. CUSTIS: Don't you rate CHAMPUS for your
25 private care?
1 MS. TALLHAMER: That was -- this -- the bills
2 I got was before me and my husband were married. We were
3 married, we've been together three years. So when I had
4 gallbladder removed and the other medical problems when I
5 started getting really ill was something before me and him
6 met. So I wasn't -- no, I wasn't entitled to CHAMPUS at
7 that time. VA, yes.
8 DR. CUSTIS: At the present time, are you
10 MS. TALLHAMER: At the present time am I using
11 CHAMPUS? I'm being -- I'm being seen by a military
12 at an Air Force base as my husband's dependent.
13 MR. TURNER: Ms. Tallhamer, do you believe
14 you were exposed to chemical or biological agents while
15 were in the Gulf?
16 MS. TALLHAMER: Yes, I do.
17 MR. TURNER: Was there a specific incident?
18 MS. TALLHAMER: Several incidents.
19 MR. TURNER: Would you tell us about them?
20 MS. TALLHAMER: I had one incidence where I got
21 it had been the first -- which sounds strange, the first
22 shower I'd had in about a week and a half, and I'm
23 in the shower, all the SCUD alarms go off, I'm soaking
24 and what do you do. You cross your fingers and you pray.
25 And that's exactly what I did. Had I been able to get to
1 mask quick enough, I had soap on my hair, there would have
2 been no way I could have sealed that mask. I would have
3 still been exposed. I was standing there in the shower, I
4 would have been exposed. There was nothing I could do.
5 On several occasions when I was up in Iraq and
6 in Kuwait we come into contact to SCUDs which, I mean, it
7 got to where we lived in our chemical gear because of the
8 SCUD alerts were just continuous.
9 MR. CROSS: All right, Mrs. Tallhamer, I'd like
10 wrap this up if I may. We have more veterans to hear
11 Thanks very much for your testimony.
12 MS. TALLHAMER: Thank you.
13 MR. CROSS: Ron Murray.
14 MR. MURRAY: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
15 As President of the Gulf War Veterans of
16 I'd like to welcome the members of the Presidential
17 Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses to the city of
19 I'd like to start my experience -- start with my
20 experience that occurred in late January 1991. While
21 located at Grid N-Nora S-Sam 5702 from sheet number NH-38-
22 15, I was assigned to the 190th MP Company, 716th MP
23 Battalion, 89th MP Brigade. Our duties were security from
24 MSR Sultan which ran between Hafar al Batin and King
25 Military City (phonetic).
1 On several occasions SCUD activity was in our
2 of operations. We witnessed the interception of two SCUD
3 missiles and heard the echoes of ground explosions and
4 others near Hafar al Batin. At these times we went to
5 Level 4 until it was determined all was clear.
6 One afternoon shortly after a SCUD alert, we
7 returning to our base camp experiencing bad winds, sand
8 blowing from out of the north. My team came up on an area
9 with dead camels and sheep. Upon seeing this and not
10 knowing what had happened, we immediately went to Mach
11 4 and cleared that area. The incident was reported to our
12 supervisors, and after that I don't know.
13 In late February during the close of operations
14 Kuwait City, we encountered thick, heavy black smoke from
15 oil well fires on the way to Kuwait City International
16 Airport. About 3:00 a.m. we came upon a Soviet bloc-made
17 dispersement vehicle. A check of that vehicle was made
18 there were no contents on board that presented any harm to
19 me or my team.
20 In March after the liberation of Kuwait, we had
21 set up a base camp southwest of Kuwait City along MSR
22 McDonnell. For three weeks trying to breathe felt
23 someone standing on top of your chest. This was done
24 unprotected, your clothing exposed, soiled and smelled of
25 oil. Daylight, 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon, seemed
2 While at this location, I met and became
3 with the Chief of Staff, Vladimir Braun of the
4 Czechoslovakian Army. We discussed our units' locations
5 incidents. From our talks, he expressed concern and gave
6 his business card and said, one day you may need this.
7 My concern is that prior to going to the Gulf I
8 was healthy. Now is a different matter. I was ordered to
9 take Bromide tablets for six weeks, SCUD missiles with
10 knows-what in them, oil well fires and treated clothing.
11 suffer from headaches, short-term memory loss, stress,
12 aching joints intestinal problems, rashes and diarrhea.
13 Diagnosed to date are the migraines and colitis.
14 I've been associated with law enforcement for
15 nineteen years. In November 1995 I officially went on
16 record at my place of employment with a list of symptoms
17 was experiencing since my return from the Gulf War. As
18 result, I have now been released from that job, thus
19 jeopardizing my professional career. Currently I'm
21 In conclusion, I would ask the Committee to
22 to the President of the United States a request: To
23 acknowledge the presence and exposure to various agents in
24 the Persian Gulf War. We have an estimated 108,000 ill
25 veterans who need our help and treatment from this problem
1 known as Gulf War Syndrome.
2 Thank you. Questions?
3 MR. CROSS: Questions from the panel?
4 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: I wanted to ask one, and I
5 it's regarding your -- you're receiving treatment now for
6 the symptoms that you have, or just for the two that you
7 said were diagnosed?
8 MR. MURRAY: Yes, ma'am, I do currently go to
9 a private physician as well as the Veterans Administration
10 Hospital here in Atlanta.
11 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: And you're receiving what kind
12 of treatment?
13 MR. MURRAY: For all the different types of
14 syndrome, but the two that have been diagnosed so far from
15 the intestinal problems due to the mycoses that were
16 of my intestines, they diagnosed it so far as just
17 The migraines, I've gone anywhere from -- I've
18 six different types of medications as far as the headache.
19 Now I'm taking the injections for the migraines to control
20 them. Just like Mr. Lodge was talking about earlier,
21 lights, I have to have myself in a controlled environment
22 due to the sensitivity of light.
23 It's a constant up and down sometimes battle as
24 far as, you know, like trying to get up sometimes and
25 to move around. You have to constantly walk around with
1 note pads. I mean, you can be talking and just lose total
2 thought as other persons have testified to. You just have
3 control of your thoughts sometime, where you're at, what's
4 going on around you.
5 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: You mentioned that you were
6 working for law enforcement. Now, the reason that you're
7 longer working is because of your illness?
8 MR. MURRAY: For officially going on the record,
9 that is correct. And, you know, it's a battle right now
10 just, you know, pay your mortgage and the bills. I don't
11 know what's going to happen down the road. I mean, that
12 my livelihood, and it hurts.
13 MS. KNOX: Mr. Murray can you pinpoint a date or
14 recall when you felt like you were exposed to something?
15 MR. MURRAY: The area that we were in, I would
16 mid-January of 1991. I mean we had several SCUD alerts,
17 I'm not going to just specifically say it was the SCUDs,
18 could have been -- the way that the winds and everything
19 were blowing, I mean, we had, you know, confirmation that
20 there were high-explosive warheads on some of the SCUDs,
21 to actually pinpoint the area when we encountered that
22 particular area, I mean, it's just common sense in the way
23 that we were trained, and you get out of that area because
24 you do not what you're -- know what you're dealing with at
25 that point.
1 MS. KNOX: And you were in Hafar al Batin at
3 MR. MURRAY: I was stationed in between Hafar al
4 Batin and King Faleed Military City. Exactly one to one-
5 half -- I brought my maps if you need to see those.
6 MS. KNOX: I was there.
7 MR. MURRAY: Okay.
8 MR. CROSS: Okay, Mr. Murray, thank you very
9 for your testimony.
10 MR. MURRAY: Thank you very much, ladies and
12 MR. CROSS: What I'd like to do at this time is
13 take a break, and at 10:15 I'd like to reassemble and
14 Applequist will be up.
15 (A scheduled break was taken.)
16 MR. CROSS: I'd like to go ahead and get the
17 meeting moving again.
18 Louise Applequist, if you're available.
19 MS. APPLEQUIST: Good morning. My name is
20 Applequist, and I would like to thank you for giving me
21 opportunity. I'm speaking on behalf of some of the Gulf
23 Today I speak with experiences on issues of the
24 grief of the men and women who served in Desert Storm. I
25 a spouse of a Desert Storm veteran who after the war
1 ill. Shortly after my husband returned from Desert Storm
2 was complaining about his health.
3 While preparing to leave for Desert Storm, all
4 men in my husband's company had to undergo a series of
5 shots. After these shots, many of the men were sick, my
6 husband included. My husband was still sick when he
7 departed for Desert Storm.
8 While over there, I was told the men were
9 one-on-one on a daily basis as they took pills which were
10 supposed to be NBC agents. My husband wrote and said
11 bathing conditions were not their best, and the soldiers
12 to take showers in oil, rust-filled tankers. The water
13 often dirty and cold and far from their tents. They had
14 walk in the cold to and from their tents which added to
15 sickness going on.
16 Food was often eaten outside with the wind
17 all around. They could not help but eat a certain
18 probably dust and parasites that were in front of them.
19 They also had to drive around for most of the day and
20 of the night behind graders blowing smoke in all
21 as if driving wasn't bad enough. They had to use T-shirts
22 or bandannas to block the dust on their faces, which
23 didn't do such a good job.
24 My husband after writing, he was saying numerous
25 times how he did not feel well, and especially with the
1 diarrhea. We left the military on the VSI/NSSB program.
2 sooner we left the military on June 26th, 1992, my husband
3 reported himself to evaluate his health conditions to the
4 clinic in Orlando, Florida.
5 He had reported numerous times about the
6 that were occurring to him at the VA clinic; however
7 that time he had registered himself on the Persian Gulf
8 registry. From that point on, many X-rays were taken and
9 further reevaluation was needed.
10 I was a little curious about that because during
11 that time we didn't know what was going on, and from what
12 understand, they said that he needed a lot of X-rays. And
13 we just couldn't figure out what was going on until we
14 here. Nothing concrete was really done such as specialty
15 clinics concerning the problems he was having with his
17 I would like to mention some of the other
18 when encountered. When we looked for assistance through
19 State, they told us it wasn't their problem, it was your
20 problem. We could not get help with the State as far as
21 trying to get Welfare. Our finances -- it just got
22 overwhelming. We had no money to get medical help like we
23 needed. Also when he got out on the SSB/VSI program, he
24 -- we had only six months of medical insurance. After
25 six months was up, we didn't have any medical insurance so
1 we had to look somewhere else.
2 When he came back from Desert Storm, I had a lot
3 of female problems. Unfortunately two months ago I had a
4 miscarriage. We planned on having a family and everything
5 was stripped away from us because the military does not
6 to take care of even the spouses either. They don't even
7 want to take care of my husband.
8 We have so many financial problems it's not even
9 funny. Every time he has to go to the clinic he has to
10 time off of work in order to get to the clinic, and it's
11 whenever the clinic, you know, can spare the time for him
12 be seen.
13 But we've encountered so many problems as far as
14 trying to get help with the State. I thank God for the
15 that I have now that I can get some medical help, but I
16 I would have had something done for myself as far as the
17 problems that I'm occurring through my husband since he
18 back from Desert Storm.
19 My husband is a good man and he works very hard.
20 And in the military he worked very hard also, that he
21 have gotten the help -- he should be getting the help that
22 is entitled to him. He should be getting the benefits
23 is entitled to him.
24 The VA is saying, well, you know, when we get a
25 chance we'll make an appointment. It takes about four to
1 six months sometimes just for him to get an appointment.
2 And I am so sick and tired, and I feel sorry
3 my husband and all the other men, the problems that
4 having as far as the stomach. The stomach problem is
5 unbelievable. The diarrhea, the rash, I've got the rash.
6 From -- occasionally I get the diarrhea.
7 But I just wish something was happening in
8 for them to get the help that they really need.
9 Thank you.
10 MR. CROSS: Thank you.
11 Are there any questions from the panel?
12 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Where did you serve in the
13 and were you in some of the same -- was your --
14 MR. APPLEQUIST: I was in the 249th Engineer
15 Battalion. We went over as a battalion.
16 As far as where we were, we were engineers, we
17 moved probably 75 to 100 times. We stayed in places as a
18 company. We went out as a platoon, we went out as a
19 We were in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait 20 different times,
20 moving from one place to another.
21 After the war was over, we also went and we did
22 demolition work on their equipment. And again, we were
23 all over the place, covering miles and miles.
24 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: And were there specific
25 incidents that you noticed where there were chemicals or
1 kind of other agent in the air, or --
2 MR. APPLEQUIST: We had two separate times, once
3 at 3:00 in the morning, once at 6:00 in the morning where
4 the alarms went off. We didn't necessarily see anything
5 that particular time, but the alarms, they're, you know,
6 to 100 yards outside the camp.
7 They were trying to say that it was truck
8 Number one, 50 yards out, truck exhaust isn't going to do
9 it, and at 3:00 o'clock in the morning there was nothing
10 running at that time.
11 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: And how soon after you
12 did you start experiencing symptoms?
13 MR. APPLEQUIST: I think my wife said when I
14 over there after the series of shots we had, I was sick
15 like six weeks going, and I developed severe cases of
16 diarrhea while I was there, and it just has not gone
17 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: These you felt were from the
18 shots that you received?
19 MR. APPLEQUIST: It could be either from the
20 or from any number of things. Like I said, all the
21 traveling that we did, we were riding behind truck
22 and all the dirt and the dust that was coming up into our
23 lungs. The X-rays show that I have some kind of a build-
24 in my lungs. And who knows what's in that dirt. If there
25 were chemical agents used, it can be in that dirt that we
1 were sucking up also.
2 MS. KNOX: Did you receive the anthrax vaccine?
3 MR. APPLEQUIST: Yes.
4 MS. KNOX: And if you did, did you get it in-
5 country or did you get it prior to leaving?
6 MR. APPLEQUIST: We got it in Germany.
7 MS. KNOX: You got it in Germany.
8 MR. APPLEQUIST: I was in -- I went from Germany
9 over there.
10 One thing my wife did fail to mention was that a
11 lot of the expenses that we had as far as her, she didn't
12 have the female problems before Desert Storm either, and
13 had to put out a lot of money because she had developed a
14 case of cervical cancer as well.
15 And like I said, just from the time that we
16 out of the military, everything went downhill and we
17 yet to see anything turn around, you know, for us, or
18 like I said, any of these people here that are all
19 the same problem.
20 MR. CROSS: Thank you very much for your
22 MR. APPLEQUIST: Thank you.
23 MS. APPLEQUIST: Thank you.
24 MR. CROSS: Mike Tidd.
25 MR. TIDD: Good morning. My name is Mike Tidd.
1 On December 1990 I arrived in Saudi Arabia at
2 13, Rohrbach was the camp name, as a second-class petty
3 officer with the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24.
4 were near the town of Jubail on the eastern coast.
5 As a member of H Company, I was assigned to
6 security. On the morning of January 20th, 1991, at about
7 3:30 in the morning, I was in tower six on the east
8 perimeter of our camp. I was looking back over the camp
9 the northwest, I saw a bright flash and a double boom.
10 I immediately put on my mask and my suit.
11 later the alarms went off and the command and control
12 from -- in NMCB 40, which we shared the camp with,
13 immediately came on the PA calling gas, gas, Mach 4. We
14 stayed at Mach 4 until around 6:30 that morning when the
15 all-clear was given. This was just one incident of many.
16 Since returning from the Gulf, I've had the same
17 health problems you've heard here, there's no sense me
18 through them all again.
19 Went through the registry. I went and did two
20 the preliminary health studies with the VA at Tuskegee and
21 at Birmingham. I haven't received any findings from any
22 these. Every time I would go I would give anywhere from
23 five to seven tubes of blood. I never got any test
24 back, even after asking.
25 I'm self-employed, and as a small businessman
1 is money. And I just take it upon myself, I've gone to
2 several private physicians in the Columbus area, Columbus,
3 Georgia area, and I've just taken on my problems myself.
4 can't afford to go through the VA system that everybody
6 That just pretty much sums it up; I know it's
7 pretty quick.
8 MR. CROSS: Any questions from the panel?
9 MR. TURNER: Mr. Tidd, you were in a tower; is
10 that correct?
11 MR. TIDD: That's correct.
12 MR. TURNER: And there are other people in that
13 unit that are a lot sicker than you are, aren't there?
14 MR. TIDD: Right. I feel I'm one of the
15 ones. I was up in a tower approximately twenty feet off
16 ground, and --
17 MR. CROSS: Mr. Tidd, you can thank me for those
18 towers. I was the one who placed those towers. I'm glad
19 know that somebody used them.
20 MR. TIDD: They were used, that's for sure.
21 MR. TURNER: Would you tell the panel members
22 Mach 4 means?
23 MR. TIDD: Mach 4 is the full chemical suit
24 the full suit, boots, gloves, with the liner gloves.
25 pretty well protected. If you pay close attention you're
1 putting the suit on, you're pretty safe. I feel like my
2 quick reaction and my attention to detail really paid
3 MR. TURNER: So that's the highest level of
4 protection that you get?
5 MR. TIDD: Right.
6 MR. TURNER: Is that correct?
7 You personally saw a flash?
8 MR. TIDD: That's correct.
9 MR. TURNER: And heard a double boom?
10 MR. TIDD: Right.
11 MR. TURNER: Had you ever heard any double
12 like that before?
13 MR. TIDD: No. We had had -- we had had
14 SCUD alerts, but I had never heard the explosion
15 which I consider the double boom, and the bright flash.
16 knew when SCUDs were going over on their way to Riyadh or
17 Dihran several times, but never anything that close.
18 It's like the testimony before me, it did, it
19 shook you. It shook you down to your roots. You knew
20 something was going on.
21 MR. TURNER: So you don't think it was a
23 MR. TIDD: No. It was -- I've been around
24 aircraft all my life. Growing up in the flight path of
25 major metropolitan airport you kind of know that a
1 boom doesn't go kaboom or explosion concussion.
2 MR. TURNER: How soon after that event did
3 begin to feel ill?
4 MR. TIDD: A couple of weeks later I was put in
5 hours bedrest from -- I lost the word -- just sheer
6 worn out. The doctor said my body temperature was around
7 96.7 to 97, and he gave me a case of water and a couple of
8 little blue pills and said go to your rack and don't get
9 of it again until the 24 hours is up.
10 MR. TURNER: Do you know of other members of
11 unit or people that served in that area who became ill
12 around the same time?
13 MR. TIDD: It was always, you know, people going
14 to and from sick bay. Being on security I was kind of --
15 was either out on the perimeter or up at the standby tent
16 either in my tent, you know, trying to get everything
17 for the next day. We were, you know, on 24 hours and then
18 off 24 hours.
19 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: You mentioned that you're now
20 receiving -- or that you go to private physicians now.
21 MR. TIDD: Right.
22 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Are they treating you for any
23 specific illness?
24 MR. TIDD: I've been pretty fortunate. A friend
25 of ours is an herbalist I guess you would call it, and
1 gotten onto a vitamin-mineral supplement program, and also
2 pepsins twice a day, that really helps a lot. But the B-
3 complex and then the multi-vitamins with the antioxidant
4 really, it seems to be helping a lot.
5 But my joints just are really the major
6 right now. It's hard, when I sit for a long time I
7 it's hard to get moving again.
8 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: So the vitamins that you're
9 receiving help you with your fatigue?
10 MR. TIDD: Yeah, the B-complex vitamins help a
11 lot. It's called "Stressed Out", it's just a -- comes
12 the health food store.
13 MR. CROSS: Have you worked with Dr. Hyman at
14 MR. TIDD: No, I haven't.
15 MR. CROSS: Okay.
16 MR. KOWALOK: Mr. Tidd, this incident with the
17 double boom, is that the same incident that Mr. Sims and
18 Hallman were describing?
19 MR. TIDD: Yes, it is. They were probably 75
20 away from my position.
21 MR. KOWALOK: And they were not in a tower?
22 MR. TIDD: No, no. In fact, I -- I have just a
23 theory, it's a personal opinion, that if in fact we were
24 when a chemical biological, and I've been told a
25 Congressional source that we were, that material would
1 seeked a lower level, which all of our bunkers were down
2 below ground level. So, if something came into our area,
3 would have just kind of flowed with the ground and gone
4 these bunkers.
5 Of course, that's personal opinion. I have no
6 of proving that.
7 MR. CROSS: Any other questions?
8 (No response.)
9 MR. CROSS: Mr. Tidd, thank you very much for
11 MR. TIDD: Thank you.
12 MR. CROSS: Larry Kay.
13 MR. KAY: Good morning. My name is Larry
14 During my time in the Persian Gulf between
15 December of '90 to April of '91, I was with the Seabee
16 Battalion 24 in Camp 13. My job over there was an
18 And before going to Desert Storm I had 23 years
19 the Columbus Fire Department, and the last four of those
20 years I was on the haz-mat team.
21 Before we went over, the Navy gave us our own
22 masks, but the only thing is we didn't know what kind of -
23 what the filter was for or what it would protect you from.
24 Being on the haz-mat team I know there is no such thing as
25 one filter that will protect you from everything, and I
1 can't get the answer to find out what that filter was good
3 On January the 20th around between 3:00 and
4 I don't remember, I was in the rec center. Lately I was
5 having trouble sleeping, I guess it was because of all the
6 air raids, and I stayed awake a lot. Well at that time I
7 heard two booms and I took off running. Before I -- as I
8 opened the door and stepping out, I put my mask on and
9 was a white cloud around me with a mist, and it smelled
10 ammonia. I had to clean my mask out before I could put it
11 on. And it's my understanding, and I checked in to
12 different places that with mustard gas is, you can use a
13 large amount of ammonia which will neutralize it.
14 We also had a, we did have a ammonia plant
15 from us. We could smell it once in a while when the wind
16 was right, but it wasn't this strong, and you didn't get
17 white cloud, and you didn't get a mist with it.
18 I also, when the Iraqis set fire to the, blew up
19 the oil wells, when the wind was blowing north -- from the
20 north, we was getting all the smoke. Matter of fact, it
21 just like midnight some of the days, and we had to drive
22 with our headlights on.
23 And at the end of the day when I'd take my
24 and I'd see the oil washing off of me. I may not be the
25 smartest person in the world, but I figure if you've got
1 on you you've got it in you, breathing it. We didn't --
2 only time we put the masks on is during the air raid when
3 they had alert code four.
4 After I got back I talked to Dr. Langley, which
5 is, he is the program manager of the Georgia Department of
6 Human Resources, EPD. I talked to, I asked him some
7 questions on the long term and short term effects this
8 from the oil well fires would have on you. And he wrote
9 a letter and said that the short-term effects can include
10 irritation, mucous membranes, restlessness, breathing
11 difficulty and rarely leukemia.
12 Also you got sulfur compound in the crude oil.
13 When exposed to fire, it will turn to sulfuric acid.
14 He also stated in that that when inhaled it
15 cause irritation, breathing difficulties, and the long-
16 exposure to this is leukemia-type cancers.
17 Since I've been back I've had most of the same
18 symptoms everybody else has, difficult breathing, memory
19 loss, stomach troubles, achy joints and night sweats.
20 And my wife also has the same -- some of the
21 symptoms I've got. She's got the memory loss, night
22 She used to be cold natured, any time it would get a
23 cool she had to cover up, but now she's just as warm-
24 as I am, and that's not natural.
25 I been to Tuskegee myself, and three other guys
1 started the same time, we went to Tuskegee for two and a
2 half years off and on. Of course over there you have an
3 appointment and it takes you two weeks to get another
4 appointment. And that's why it was two and a half years.
5 Also they come up with a pilot program in
6 Birmingham. I also participated in that. And I have yet
7 receive any medication, not even an aspirin from any of
8 VA hospitals I've been to. They could not tell me what
9 wrong with me, except in Birmingham they sort of hinted
10 it was all in my mind, which I knew it wasn't, but you
11 tell them that.
12 I did get a diagnosis from Dr. Jackson at
13 Tuskegee. He stated that I had Persian Gulf -- let me
14 Well, I don't seem to have it. But I had
15 Gulf Syndrome and chemical biological warfare exposures.
16 Then big man in VA hospital up -- I mean the VA
17 in Washington, D.C. stated over the TV and all that that
18 a misdiagnosis. But I never received anything else
19 that was a misdiagnosis. All I know is that's what he
20 on TV. But later on Dr. Jackson stated that I did have
21 and the other personnel that he's checked had the same
23 Me and one other guy that went up to a
24 clinic in South Carolina, we had -- they ran tests on us
25 every test they ran on us was either too high or too low,
1 none of the results was normal.
2 MR. CROSS: Mr. Kay, I'd like to see if we can
3 some questions from the panel --
4 MR. KAY: Okay.
5 MR. CROSS: And wrap this up.
6 Are there any questions from the panel?
7 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: I just have one.
8 You mentioned that you're not receiving any
9 treatment currently?
10 MR. KAY: No. The only thing I'm taking is
11 Tylenol that I buy myself at the store.
12 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: And you explained the
13 in the Gulf War as an ammonia-like smell. Now you also
14 mentioned the use of the respirator that you donned.
15 that prior to smelling the ammonia or after? Could you
16 smell it with the respirator on? is what I'm trying to get
18 MR. KAY: No, I couldn't smell it with the
19 respirator on. But it was inside and I had to clean it
20 Of course, while I'm cleaning it out I could smell it in
21 air, and the mist was falling all around.
22 MR. TURNER: Mr. Kay, would you be willing to
23 provide us with a copy of the letter that Dr. Langley
24 you about the long-term symptoms?
25 MR. KAY: I sure would.
1 MR. TURNER: That would be very helpful.
2 And you mentioned that Dr. Jackson at Tuskegee
3 treated you, or diagnosed you at least as having been
4 exposed to a chemical or a biological --
5 MR. KAY: Right.
6 MR. TURNER: -- agent. He still stands by that
7 diagnosis, doesn't he? He's not changed that, has he?
8 MR. KAY: I have not received anything from him
9 stating that he has changed it.
10 MR. TURNER: Do you know what he based that
11 diagnosis on? Did he tell you that there were symptoms
12 you presented or is it the account you gave of what you
13 thought happened at Al Jubail that he based that on?
14 MR. KAY: Well, he made some studies from what I
15 understand, and he come up with that, and he knows a lot
16 more, and he's the only one that even tries to half way
17 us veterans.
18 MR. TURNER: Has he talked to you about the
19 possibility that the oil that you had to wash off yourself
20 in some way made any chemical exposure worse? He's not
21 discussed that with you?
22 MR. KAY: No, he didn't.
23 DR. CUSTIS: When you were in Tuskegee, was the
24 process started for compensation?
25 MR. KAY: No -- well, I start -- you know, I put
1 in the claim and everything. They sent me a letter
2 that it was denied, that all I had was symptoms, which I
3 believe they come out before that stating that you didn't
4 have to have anything but symptoms, and I had this
5 diagnosis. I sent that letter in that Dr. Jackson gave
6 and they still sent me a letter stating it was denied.
7 Like I say, I was in the fire department. I
8 trouble breathing, I cannot fight fire anymore, so they
9 me on an eight-hour-a-day job because I've got seven
10 to go before I can retire, and they're making a job for
11 But, you know, I can't do my job I've been -- I used to
12 MR. CROSS: Mr. Kay, thank you very much.
13 MR. KAY: Thank you.
14 MR. CROSS: Don Reeves.
15 (No response.)
16 MR. CROSS: I don't believe Mr. Reeves is here.
17 Randy Wheeler.
18 MR. WHEELER: Thank you.
19 Ladies and gentlemen: I was in the Marine
20 and then I was sent to Saudi Arabia from August '90
21 March of '91. While I was there I developed severe
22 and either from the food we ate in-country or the lack of
24 For this diarrhea I spent a week at the fleet
25 hospital at the border of Al Jubail. I developed a
1 just before entering Kuwait, and developed asthma
2 returning to the United States. My symptoms have
3 cleared up and I have just been recently diagnosed
4 Ryder's Syndrome or reactive arthritis, and many other
5 ailments. My private doctors believe that the bout of
6 diarrhea that I had during my tour caused my Ryder's
8 During the ground war I was an artillery
9 observer with 3rd Tank Battalion, 1st Toll Platoon.
10 Toll Platoon with tasked with protecting Gunnery
11 Grass' Fox vehicle, and providing cover for the spearhead
12 Task Force Ripper.
13 Gunnery Sergeant Grass was assigned as the NBC
14 recon vehicle commander for the task force. He has given
15 testimony to my investigation -- that investigation's
16 was "Circumstances Surrounding the Possible Exposure of
17 Sergeant Randy G. Wheeler to Chemical Agents During the
18 War" -- and he also has just recently sent me some more
19 vital information on chemicals and their presence in
20 area of Task Force Ripper. I've enclosed that as part
21 this testimony as well.
22 I do not think we can doubt Gunner Sergeant
23 Grass's credibility or his statements. He's a very
24 knowledgeable and highly trained Marine in the all-around
25 offensive and defensive capability of nuclear, biological
1 and chemical protocols. I've taken information from his
2 transcripts and will present them before you today.
3 At a morning meeting on 22 February 1991, Recon
4 reported that there were numerous 69 Vescela mines. I
5 not studied mines, but apparently those were mines that
6 could contain some kind of liquid or some form of agent,
7 not sure, with the high probability of chemicals at the
8 first breach site.
9 Later on, on the first day of the ground war and
10 during breach operations the MM-1 spectrometer aboard the
11 Fox vehicle was registering a 1.5 out of an 8.0 for nerve
12 agent. The readings were present for as long as the
13 was in the eight lanes of that breach. Several Marines
14 worked to complete the lanes wearing only Mach Level 2.
15 know that nerve agent can kill within a minute, but what
16 the long-term effects of low-dose contamination.
17 At the Al Jubail airfield, the Fox vehicle was
18 positioned upwind from the Task Force. The spectrometer
19 here detected S-Mustard on a scale of 5.0 out of an 8.0,
20 as high as a 7.0 for several minutes.
21 Upon hearing the alarm in the Fox vehicle,
22 Sergeant Grass sounded gas, gas, gas over the radio.
23 readings were lethal and would produce casualties. The
24 vapor was in the air for several minutes and a complete
25 spectrum was run and printed as proof. I remember this
1 point in time well.
2 Our toll vehicle was outside a command vehicle
3 the Al Jubail airfield. I was speaking to an NBC person,
4 and he was explaining what the hand-held CAM detector
5 The CAM began to register one or two bars on its readout
6 that is when we heard gas, gas, gas over the radio. Mach
7 Level 4 was established and we remained in that posture
8 about 20 minutes.
9 This area at Al Jubail airfield and the breach
10 area containing nerve agent is where I believe myself and
11 other Marines had exposure to chemicals and may have
12 our health problems.
13 Another incident occurred outside the Kuwait
14 International Airport. Artillery rounds containing S-
15 Mustard, a bunker with closed ammunition boxes registering
16 HT-mustard, and a reading of benzine bromide were
17 The readings at this location maxed out on the
18 for as long as the vehicle was in this area.
19 The Fox vehicle went through this area. As the
20 Fox vehicle went through this area, there were signs with
21 skull and crossbones on them, and grouped in areas set up
22 specific color coding. No other area in the entire 3rd
23 Armored Corps that Gunnery Sergeant Grass checked was set
24 or designed like this area.
25 The next day a team flew in, donned full
1 protective equipment and went into this area for
2 approximately one hour. The next day -- excuse me, this
3 team's main concern was to catalog lot numbers and to see
4 these munitions had come into the country after sanctions
5 were imposed on Iraq. This team verbally acknowledged the
6 presence of chemical weapons in this storage area and that
7 all munitions were either from Holland, Jordan or the
9 What I ask today is, was I exposed to chemical
10 agents? Yes, I was. Have these exposures caused my
11 problems? Yes, they have.
12 That's it.
13 MR. CROSS: Questions from the panel?
14 MR. BROWN: Mr. Wheeler, are you working now?
15 you employed now, or --
16 MR. WHEELER: Yes, right now I work for the Post
17 Office in Birmingham, the main plant. I work on the floor
18 as a mail processor, but currently I'm on light duty and
19 they have me upstairs working behind a desk, and that will
20 only last until the 26th. Until then I have to go back
21 on the floor and I'll probably not be able to remain down
23 MR. BROWN: Are you receiving treatment for any
24 the diagnoses that you mentioned that you had?
25 MR. WHEELER: From private physicians I am.
1 MR. BROWN: From private physicians?
2 MR. WHEELER: Yes, sir.
3 MR. BROWN: And just to make sure I understand
4 what you're saying, you think that exposure to mustard
5 in the incidents you described was the causative --
6 MR. WHEELER: Either from the mustard, the nerve
7 or, like I said in the first paragraph, was either from
8 sanitation or the food we ate.
9 The Commandant of the Marine Corps flew in when
10 were over there for morale reasons, and we had said that
11 were getting diarrhea. One of the -- one of the corpsmen
12 stood up and said, well, if you'd wash your hands you
13 wouldn't get diarrhea.
14 Well, a lot of us were going back and getting
15 different foods. Sometimes at night we'd go and fill up
16 water bowls and we'd get chicken, because the people that
17 were mechanics there that would work on the heavy
18 by the Kuwait -- Saudi Kuwait Cement Factory, they would
19 cook some chickens. They'd kill their chickens and then
20 they'd cook them up for us and we'd pay $3 and we'd have
21 chicken to eat instead of eating at MRE every night. So
22 we'd have a chicken. And then after that some of us were
23 developing diarrhea, and I had diarrhea real bad. And
24 never gone away.
25 MR. TURNER: You mentioned an investigation
1 was being conducted of your case, Mr. Wheeler. Do you
2 what the status of that investigation is?
3 MR. WHEELER: No, sir. Lieutenant General
4 Christmas ordered that investigation and asked that, at
5 time a couple years ago because of the ongoing testing
6 the Persian Gulf War issue, that the VA continue the
8 Well, I took that to the VA when I got out, and
9 all I got was, what do you want me to do with this? And
10 it's about two inches thick.
11 MR. TURNER: So how long has the investigation
12 been underway of your case?
13 MR. WHEELER: I believe it started in December
15 MR. TURNER: So over three and a half years?
16 MR. WHEELER: Yes, sir.
17 DR. CUSTIS: No response?
18 MR. WHEELER: No, sir.
19 MR. CROSS: Have you had any further contact
20 the Marine Corps on the level of General Christmas or --
21 MR. WHEELER: No, sir, Lieutenant General
22 Christmas is I believe currently at Manpower in
23 I do occasionally talk back to one MEP back in Camp
24 Pendleton in California, speak to the Marines back there.
25 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Are there other members in
1 unit who have experienced the same symptoms that you have
2 that you know of?
3 MR. WHEELER: The vehicle that I was in, a
4 Lieutenant Marshalton was the officer in charge of that
5 platoon. No one has been able to get a hold of him. I
6 spoken with --
7 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: What was his name again? I'm
9 MR. WHEELER: Lieutenant Marshalton.
10 And there was another Marine that I was in the
11 same unit he was in back in Twenty-Nine Palms when I was
12 stationed there. He is now in Hawaii, and he says he
13 doesn't have any symptoms, but he was not back with our
14 vehicle at Al Jubail airfield, and he was not in my unit
15 the time. I was with another unit when I was eating the
16 chicken that I think is a part of the problem, of my
17 problems now.
18 MR. TURNER: Do you know of anyone in Task Force
19 Ripper or the other units in the Marine division you were
20 with that reported blistering?
21 MR. WHEELER: In my investigation it states that
22 two Marines were burned from blister agent on their
23 while securing hatches through a breach of operations at
24 Marine Corps Division.
25 MR. TURNER: Do you know who those guys were?
1 MR. WHEELER: No, I don't.
2 DR. CUSTIS: Is Sergeant Grass still on active
4 MR. WHEELER: Gunnery Sergeant Grass is still on
5 active duty at Camp Lejune.
6 MR. CROSS: Any more questions?
7 (No response.)
8 MR. CROSS: Mr. Wheeler, thank you very much for
9 your testimony.
10 MR. WHEELER: Thank you.
11 MR. CROSS: Bob Wages, are you available?
12 MR. WAGES: My name is Bob Wages.
13 I was an NBC Fox Reconnaissance Vehicle
14 and in March of 1991 my Fox team was called to the site
15 possible HD-mustard contamination site.
16 When we arrived we were given a sealed package
17 containing the flak jacket and various articles of
18 of an individual who had been evacuated from the area in
19 response to the formation of blisters as a result of
20 possible contact as he was probing a bunker with what had
21 been reported to us as HQ, a chemical combination of HD-
22 mustard and lewisite by the original Fox team that was on-
23 site which had tested the clothing and flak jacket the day
24 the soldier was evacuated.
25 We tested the jacket with two Foxes at the same
1 time, back to back, each performing independent tests.
2 results of our tests concluded that the flak jacket had
3 sufficient residual of HD-mustard contamination present
4 register on the MM-1, mobile mass spectrometer. The less
5 persistent lewisite was not present in our finding.
6 I also have a videotape of this very same
7 done the day we got to the site.
8 (Pause in proceeding for video presentation.)
9 MR. CROSS: Would you explain what that is.
10 MR. WAGES: Sure. What you're seeing here are
11 two Foxes back to back as I explained. The Fox on the
12 is the vehicle that I was assigned to. The Fox on the
13 was the platoon leader's vehicle. My vehicle is right
14 they are the one with the probe out.
15 MR. CROSS: Is that the jacket on the ground?
16 MR. WAGES: Yes, that is the jacket on the
17 that was received in the package.
18 MR. CROSS: And where did that jacket come from?
19 MR. WAGES: That came from -- the soldier was
20 assigned to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Armored Division, and he was
21 wearing the jacket when he entered the bunker.
22 MR. TURNER: That's David Allen Fisher, correct?
23 MR. WAGES: The best of my knowledge.
24 MS. KNOX: How soon after were you sampling this
25 jacket, how soon after the incident?
1 MR. WAGES: Okay. This was done within 24 hours
2 of the initial finding. We were called, we went directly
3 the site, and at that time we got the package, took it out
4 away from everybody else and started testing.
5 [To video projectionist] We need just a little
6 bit of volume if possible because there is an alarm that
7 goes off.
8 All right, what we have here -- [audio sounds
9 videotape] -- is the MM-1 string. All the white area is
10 basically garbage. It's fettle, wax, any other types of
11 contamination that can be on, something like diesel fuel,
12 anything that can create a contamination is on the probe
13 this time.
14 My MM-1 operator was one of the best in a Fox.
15 cleaned the probe, the approved method which was burning
16 off, reapplied it to the flak jacket, and as soon as it
17 comes up, as soon as he goes through the screen again,
18 you'll see the 1 HD-mustard come up. [Audio sounds
19 video tape].
20 The two people that are talking, the guy that
21 said "the 72 substances", he was the one that originally
22 discovered the HQ on the flak jacket. He was assisting us
23 because he was on-site when it all occurred. [Audio sounds
24 from video tape].
25 That's what the reading should have been, at
1 to get a reading of mustard. [Beeping sounds from video
3 All right, he had cleaned the probe and he was
4 retesting. Notice the long white one is starting to go
5 And I apologize to some of you ladies and
6 gentlemen that there's a little bit of language on here.
7 [Beeping sounds from video tape].
8 That's where we got the reading, 4.4. That's
9 MM-1 breaking down the substances that's involved.
10 sounds from video tape].
11 This thermal tape was sent forward along with
12 flak jacket and the clothing that was in the bag. It was
13 sent forward to higher authorities.
14 MR. TURNER: That tape shows a mustard
15 Or, that tape printed out a mustard detection, it showed
16 MR. WAGES: Yes, it did.
17 [End of video presentation].
18 MR. WAGES: All right. That is the entire tape,
19 it's a total of seven minutes from once we laid the jacket
20 down to the time we got the reading.
21 Any questions?
22 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: The person who entered the
23 bunker, was he the only one who entered the bunker at that
25 MR. WAGES: To the best of my knowledge. All we
1 did, we came over and checked with the Fox team, and we
2 the package.
3 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: I do remember reading about
4 experience. He immediately broke out in a rash or how
5 MR. WAGES: Right. He had, within a couple of
6 hours, he came over to the Fox team that was on-site and
7 said, I feel this kind of a burning, itching sensation.
8 they said, you know, there was not much they could tell at
9 that point, they weren't doctors, so they didn't -- but
10 he came back within four hours and he was starting to
11 develop blisters on his wrist, one of which had developed
12 the point it was about a silver dollar size, and at that
13 point the Fox team on site stripped him of all his
14 and packaged everything up, tested it, and that's when
15 got the HQ.
16 MR. BROWN: Mr. Wages, the tape that we saw
17 out of the machine, that basically serves as a hard copy
18 what we were seeing on the screen?
19 MR. WAGES: Correct. The numbers --
20 MR. BROWN: A permanent record.
21 MR. WAGES: -- that you saw on the screen were
22 transposed to that thermal tape.
23 MR. BROWN: And when you submitted that you said
24 to a higher authority, I'm not sure who you meant by that.
25 MR. WAGES: 2nd Brigade NBC officer.
1 MR. BROWN: And did they concur that this was a
2 positive mustard, or what was the reaction?
3 MR. WAGES: Oh, there was no doubt.
4 MR. BROWN: It was no doubt?
5 MR. WAGES: What we were doing, we were backing
6 the discovery from the day before and, like I said, they
7 came up with HQ which is the HD and the lewisite. When --
8 Lewisite is a nonpersistent agent, so the mustard was
9 to be there whether the lewisite was or not. And when we
10 found that, it just confirmed what we already had, what we
11 already knew.
12 MR. TURNER: Mr. Wages, where did you train to
13 learn how to use the Fox vehicle?
14 MR. WAGES: At the German NBC school where it
15 was -- I mean, it was a German-made vehicle.
16 MR. TURNER: And you're personally confident of
17 the capability of the people that were operating the NBC -
18 I mean the Fox vehicles in-theater, that they knew what
19 were doing, that their detections were real?
20 MR. WAGES: There is no doubt. The Germans
21 not allow a team -- we did have one team not to go through
22 -- not our platoon, but there was a team that was not
23 certified by the Germans, and they would not let it go
25 MR. TURNER: Would you tell the panel what the
1 official reaction was to your videotape when you first
2 it public?
3 MR. WAGES: Well, once I made it public, I
4 received two phone calls from the -- from someone
5 representing the Pentagon stating that it was a fake
6 If you look at the tape, and if you look at a Fox
7 there is a training mode and a real-world mode.
8 We were in real-world mode when were making
9 test here. In the left-hand corner of a MM-1 mobile mass
10 spectrometer screen, you will see training or test. This
11 was no test. This was the real thing. We were
12 what was already there.
13 MR. CROSS: Aside from this incident, were
14 other instances, you know, when you operated the vehicle
15 when you detected other chemicals or --
16 MR. WAGES: There were times that we thought we
17 had picked up something in the air, and we would stop and
18 try to confirm. But if it was in the air, it was nowhere
19 where we could find it. And we were everywhere. We
20 four months, or three months in Iraq after everything was
22 MR. TURNER: Were you in Iraq when the
23 engineering, the explosive ordnance disposal units were
25 MR. WAGES: Yes, sir, we were kind of a screen
1 between the engineers blowing up bunkers and the rest of
2 troops. We would get between the troops and the bunkers
3 downwind from the bunkers.
4 MR. TURNER: Now those bunkers would sometimes
5 contain munitions?
6 MR. WAGES: They would contain munitions but
7 were not totally identified as whether they were chemical
8 biological. They were just munitions, and that's what our
9 job was for was we were in between.
10 MR. TURNER: Did you seek to test bunkers before
11 they were destroyed? Did you ask to do that?
12 MR. WAGES: We had asked to do that, yes.
13 MR. TURNER: What was the answer?
14 MR. WAGES: That we didn't have time, we had to
15 blow them.
16 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: So you didn't, you weren't
17 to test any of the other bunkers?
18 MR. WAGES: We tried to find the bunker that
19 soldier from 2nd Brigade went into, but nobody could
20 identify it because the soldier was no longer there.
21 He could not physically take us to it. So
22 everybody else just kind of put us on a wild goose chase
23 said, there's 200 bunkers out there, go find it. And we
24 did, we tried our best. We stayed out there for three
25 straight days going through every bunker, backing the Fox
1 to a bunker, putting the probe in, letting it stay there
2 three to five minutes, move out to another one.
3 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: And of the ones that you were
4 able to test, there was no reading of Mustard gas in any
6 MR. WAGES: There was no reading. Now, we
7 go in. We took our CAM, and we took the Fox because some
8 the bunkers we couldn't get close enough to.
9 MR. TURNER: Explain what a CAM is, please.
10 MR. WAGES: It's a Chemical Agent Monitor. And
11 it's a hand-held, looks like a carving, electric carving
12 knife. And you take that and you can put it up close to a
13 piece of equipment or in a bunker, and it's constantly
14 sniffing the air.
15 MR. BROWN: Mr. Wages, is the Fox vehicle, is
16 equipment that we saw in the video there suitable for
17 detecting air concentrations of mustard or other agents?
18 I'm thinking about the situation where you're looking at
19 bunker that's going to be blown, and you want to protect
20 your position downwind of it.
21 MR. WAGES: Right. We can have -- we can have
22 in two modes basically. One is a travel mode, it's where
23 it's constantly sniffing the air. And as long as it's
24 constantly sniffing the air -- excuse me, one of them is
25 ground probe where -- like what we had on the flak
1 You put it on the ground probe, it generates up to 510
2 degrees and it burns, basically burns enough chemical
3 to get a reading.
4 All right. In the air mode it would constantly
5 sniff the air. And at that time, yes, if there was any
6 small minute particles in the air, yes it would pick it
7 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: It would pick it up to what
8 degree? Because sometimes at .000, you really can't
9 very much.
10 MR. WAGES: Right.
11 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: So it doesn't go that far.
12 MR. WAGES: Yes, it would pick it up and, yes,
13 would give you a reading.
14 Now, like I showed you on that 3.6, that is the
15 that is the alarm level for HD-mustard, okay. At 3.6 the
16 alarm would go off. Anything less than that you would get
17 short bursts or beeps, and that would give you an idea
18 something was there, you stop or you circle back around,
19 there's something out there. But to actually get a full
20 alarm it has to reach 3.6 or higher.
21 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: What level of detection would
22 there be if it was much smaller than say 3.5 --
23 MR. WAGES: As far as the quantity in the air,
24 will not tell you the quantity in the air. It will tell
25 it's there --
1 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Okay.
2 MR. WAGES: -- which gives you an opportunity to
3 do other things.
4 But, you know, it's just a matter of -- the Fox
5 vehicle, and what really upsets me about the whole thing,
6 I can say a couple of things, in November the 10th, 1993,
7 then Defense Secretary Aspin and Undersecretary Deutch
8 we have no reports. None. That was November the 10th of
10 In October '93 I was going, wait a minute, I
11 this is a month before and there had been printed articles
12 saying there was no possible contamination, we didn't find
13 anything. The Czechs found something, but we didn't find
15 You don't spend $2 million on a vehicle and
16 people the way we were trained to send us out to protect
17 -- or, correction, 400,000 people and don't believe what
18 read. We've told everybody this is what we had. We had -
19 the soldier, the first soldier I was telling you about
20 was in the original Fox vehicle, received a Bronze Star
21 being the first to discover contamination in the desert.
22 You don't give out Bronze Stars like they're cookies.
23 had to be some kind of physical evidence. It was there,
24 backed it up.
25 So, you know -- and people don't have to live in
1 these bodies that we're living in right now. I wake up
2 every day with a headache, every day. Not one passes. I
3 keep a bottle of pills at home, a bottle of pills at work,
4 because every three to four hours I've got to pop them.
5 I'm talking about just simple aspirin. The Tuskegee
6 Hospital gave me a prescription. It was good for three
7 times, you can refill it three times, and that's it.
8 Now, Dr. Jackson has tried, he really has, and
9 he's done his best. But when you have to wake up every
10 with a headache, body aches, you go to work, you come back
11 home, you go to sleep. That's it. You work eight hours,
12 sleep sixteen. That's pretty much it. That's the way,
13 that's the life most of us are living right now.
14 So, I mean, if there's anything anybody can do,
15 would certainly appreciate it.
16 MR. CROSS: Thank you, Mr. Wages.
17 We want to continue on. Is Colonel Dunn
19 COL DUNN: Yes.
20 MR. CROSS: Before we get you up, Colonel Dunn,
21 Don Reeves available?
22 (No response.)
23 Mr. CROSS: Don Reeves. Okay.
24 Colonel Dunn, what I'd like to do is, I'm going
25 break for five minutes, but at 11:25 we're going to start
1 right on the money because you're important, your
2 is very important.
3 A five-minute break, 11:25.
4 (A break was taken.)
5 MR. CROSS: The committee is back in session,
6 welcome, Colonel Dunn.
7 GOVERNMENTAL INVESTIGATIONS OF POSSIBLE
8 EXPOSURES TO CBW AGENTS
9 COL DUNN: Good morning.
10 I am Colonel Michael Dunn, I'm an Army
11 Corps officer. My present assignment is as Director
12 Clinical Consultation for the Assistant Secretary of
13 for Health Affairs.
14 From April '97 -- pardon me, April 1987 until
15 1991 I commanded the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute
16 Chemical Defense at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. I
17 was responsible for research and for providing instruction
18 to physicians in the Department of Defense involving
19 protection against chemical warfare agents.
20 From October 1990 to March 1991 I was attached
21 United States Central Command as its chemical casualty
22 consultant. I advised the command surgeons in
23 Command on medical protection of U.S. forces against
24 chemical warfare agents in Operations Desert Shield and
25 Desert Storm.
1 Under his direction, I conducted instruction of
2 U.S. and allied medical personnel on chemical casualty
3 assessed the use and safety of our medical countermeasures
4 against chemical warfare agents, and was prepared to
5 and report our experience with actual care of chemical
6 casualties should it have proved necessary.
7 Your committee asked that I describe the
8 instruction that our medical personnel had to recognize
9 treat chemical casualties, and that I give you my
10 of our capability to have recognized and reported them.
11 Further, you asked that I describe my evaluation of one
12 soldier in Operation Desert Storm whom we assessed
13 clinically as having been exposed to a blister agent.
14 During peacetime, the Medical Research
15 of Chemical Defense conducts a Medical Management of
16 Chemical Casualties Course called M2C3 at Aberdeen
17 Ground. The curriculum involves five days of classroom
18 field instruction on recognition and medical management
19 chemical casualties. About half of the students are
20 normally physicians, and instruction is keyed to their
21 educational level. Nonphysician students include
22 physician assistants, clinical scientists and senior
23 enlisted medical specialists. Traveling institute
24 conduct the M2C3 at remote locations including Europe
25 the Pacific several times annually.
1 With the beginning of Operation Desert Shield,
2 Institute increased its M2C3 instruction in courses at
3 Aberdeen and at posts in the United States and in Europe
4 the medical personnel of units identified as about to
5 to the central command area of responsibility in the
6 East. In October of 1990, I began work in the Central
7 Command area of responsibility, assisted by an
8 team from the Institute. From October to December of
9 we conducted sixteen M2C3 courses in-theater. The in-
10 theater courses included all of the material of the normal
11 five-day course presented over three days ending with a
12 demanding examination. Our pass rate in-theater was over
13 percent, significantly higher than our normal peacetime
14 rate, which we attributed to our students' perception of
15 immediate relevance in the course work to their needs.
16 The majority of our 1,453 graduates were U.S.
17 military physicians and physician assistants from all
18 services. The total also included U.S. nurses and senior
19 medical specialists and 273 allied students.
20 Over 1,000 additional graduates from
21 M2C3 courses in the United States and Europe, also
22 physicians and physician assistants arrived in-theater
23 to Operation Desert Storm.
24 The M2C3 instruction was specifically tailored
25 the Iraqi chemical threat in several ways. We
1 on the recognition and management of exposures to nerve
2 agents and mustard, the known major Iraqi threats, as well
3 as to cyanide, a much less prominent element of their
4 holdings. We added to our instruction summaries of recent
5 experience of Iranian physicians who had managed their own
6 chemical casualties in the Iran-Iraq Gulf War as well as
7 own experience from observing some of these casualties who
8 had been evacuated to Europe.
9 Our instructional material included the newly-
10 published, in February 1990, field manual on treatment of
11 chemical agent casualties and four new clinical technical
12 bulletins by Institute authors keying on the recognition
13 management of nerve agent and mustard casualties. We had
14 distributed over 2,500 copies of each of these
15 throughout the theater by the start of Operation Desert
17 We added instruction to our course on two major
18 biological warfare threats, anthrax and botulinum toxin.
19 our post-course surveys, our graduates expressed a high
20 degree of confidence in their ability to protect
21 and to recognize and to manage chemical casualties.
22 We targeted our instruction to medical personnel
23 serving with units assessed to be at the highest risk for
24 chemical warfare agent exposure. These were the units
25 involved in operations within forty kilometers of the
1 that is within the range of known chemically-capable
2 artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems. Over 90
3 percent of the physicians assigned to such units, mainly
4 ground combat divisions, were M2C3 graduates by the
5 beginning of Operation Desert Storm.
6 Of all U.S. military physicians in the central
7 command area of responsibility, about 50 percent were M2C3
8 graduates. In conducting training and follow-up visits, I
9 and my team members visited every United States medical
10 facility in the area of responsibility, and I'm therefore
11 certain that there were M2C3 graduates specifically
12 to recognize chemical casualties in every location where
13 there were U.S. units stationed.
14 In response to a specific question by Mr.
15 about the location of Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia, we had
16 conducted an M2C3 course in the area in November 1990.
17 130 graduates included about half of the medical staff of
18 the U.S. Navy Fleet Hospital Number 5 which was located
19 Al Jubail.
20 The last conflict where United States Forces
21 a similar chemical threat was World War I. We adopted a
22 practice from that war in order to designate a medical
23 M2C3 graduate as the chemical casualty officer for each
24 major unit; for example, Army or Marine Division or
25 unit. This individual in every major unit was attuned to
1 the need to seek out and report information about chemical
2 casualties so that we could rapidly share clinical data
3 throughout the theater. Operation of this unit-based
4 network involved contact with clinical expert teams from
6 For the ground combat phase of Operation
7 Storm, teams of two experts from the institute,
8 or clinical scientists, were placed with the surgeons of
9 Army's 18th Airborne Corps, the 7th Corps and the Marines
10 Expeditionary Force. These Corps-level surgeons had the
11 most accurate access to real-time casualty information and
12 were prepared to facilitate communication with unit
13 casualty officers, as well as to ensure that institute
14 were placed with ground combat units at highest risk of
15 exposure to chemical warfare agents.
16 To conclude, we had over 2,000 health
17 professionals, including physicians and physicians'
18 assistants especially trained to recognize chemical
19 casualties throughout the area of responsibility. The
20 majority were assigned to the ground combat units at
21 risk for exposure.
22 There was a strong expectation of seeing
23 casualties and a solid network in place to share immediate
24 clinical information about them. In January of 1991 we
25 use of this network to gather complete information on
1 and potential side effects from the administration of
2 pyridostigmine bromide to 46,000 members of the 18th
3 Airborne Corps who took this compound for several days
4 during the initial SCUD missile attacks at the beginning
5 Operation Desert Storm. We published this information
6 in 1991 in The Journal of the American Medical
7 Based on the large number of trained medical
8 observers we had everywhere in-theater looking for
9 casualties, on their ability to report information to our
10 expert teams, and on our proven ability to collect that
11 information using our network, I have no doubt about our
12 ability to have recognized and reported a chemical
13 agent attack. We have the strongest medical reasons to
14 rapidly share such information all through the theater,
15 commanders at all levels were well prepared to help us do
17 There is nothing subtle or low-dose about
18 intentional battlefield use of chemical warfare agents.
19 know from the eight years of the Iran-Iraq war that Iraq
20 repeatedly employed both sulphur mustard and nerve agent
21 causing over 40,000 chemical casualties based on United
22 Nations reports. There was absolutely no difficulty in
23 recognizing those chemical warfare agent attacks.
24 The purpose of a chemical warfare agent attack
25 to cause large numbers of casualties, the injuries are
1 severe. It's essentially impossible to miss. So, based
2 that kind of data, and based on that experience I can
3 with high confidence that intentional use, battlefield use
4 of CW simply did not occur against the United States
5 in Operation Desert Storm.
6 On the other hand, based on what is known about
7 the effects of chemical warfare agents on the human body,
8 have seen no medical information that would cause me to
9 speculate or form a judgement on whether accidental
10 subclinical or low-level releases or exposures may
11 occurred with one exception, a soldier whom I evaluated
12 March the 3rd of 1991. On that date I was in Iraq with
13 support units to the rear of the 3rd Armored Division.
14 and another physician were the clinical expert team for
15 Corps as I described earlier.
16 I was called to see a soldier who was a cavalry
17 scout in a 3rd Armored Division unit, 4th Squadron,
18 Cavalry, 2nd Brigade. He had soiled his clothing
19 exploring an underground bunker complex late on the 1st of
20 March and he had developed four small blisters, one to two-
21 centimeter diameter each, on his left arm early the
22 following day. He was evaluated, decontaminated and
23 as a blister agent exposure by physician assistants and
24 physicians in his unit, all of them M2C3 graduates.
25 Testing, as you saw a little bit earlier, using
1 Fox vehicle mass spectroscopy detection showed positive
2 specter for Mustard or Mustard-related compounds from his
3 clothing and from the bunker complex that he had
4 When I examined the soldier on March the 3rd, the told me
5 that he felt well and had lost no duty time. He was not
6 hospitalized, he was not evacuated, he was returned to
7 with his unit. His only abnormality was the four small
8 blisters, each surrounded by a small rim of reddened skin.
9 Based on his history, especially on the time
10 of eight hours between the exploration of the bunker and
11 first symptoms, I agreed with the diagnoses of blister
12 exposure and confirmed it on clinical grounds.
13 I obtained a urine sample for later testing for
14 thiodiglycol which is a breakdown product of mustard in
15 body and I discussed the event with the medical personnel
16 the soldier's unit, with Major Cassinelli, the 3rd Armored
17 Division surgeon, and with Lieutenant Colonel Adams, the
18 Armored Division chemical officer. The chemical personnel
19 retained the soldier's clothing and the Fox vehicle
20 tapes for later analysis.
21 I also discussed the event with officers at
22 Central Command Headquarters and was informed that the
23 exposure was reported to the press during Central
24 daily briefing.
25 Later testing to confirm the exposure as
1 by analysis of clothing samples at an analytical
2 in the United States was negative, possibly due to
3 evaporative loss of what was, at most, a low or minimal
4 level of contamination.
5 The urine sample that I obtained showed no
6 evidence of that mustard breakdown product, the
7 thiodiglycol, on analysis at my institute's laboratory.
8 expected this analysis to be negative as well based on
9 very low level of exposure.
10 We did publish the event as an unconfirmed
11 agent exposure in an article in the Journal of the U.S.
12 Medical Department in January 1992, Pages 34 to 36, and I
13 have given copies of that publication to Mr. Turner.
14 I would conclude that the soldier may well have
15 been exposed to a low level of mustard during his
16 exploration of the bunker complex. The exposure clearly
17 not appear to me to represent intentional battlefield use
18 a chemical warfare agent by Iraq which, as I've said, in
19 own experience with Iran-Iraq war casualties, as well as
20 experience of many others, would have produced far more
21 exposed persons and more severe effects as it did on every
22 occasion when it was used by Iraq in that conflict.
23 In order to clarify this, if I can depart from
24 prepared testimony for a sentence or two, even now and in
25 recent decades, individuals in France and Belgium who come
1 into contact with mustard-contaminated material that has
2 been underground since World War I experience exactly
3 kind of blister effects and symptoms. So it's very
4 just on medical grounds, that the effects of mustard
5 underground for many decades can produce the symptoms in
6 folks who are exposed to that material many, many years
8 Now, without solid chemical evidence to prove
9 the exposure was in fact related to mustard, the strongest
10 indication I have to support mustard as the cause was the
11 eight-hour delay, that latent period between the exposure
12 and the time of first symptoms. An exposure later on that
13 the soldier might not have noticed to one of many other
14 rapidly-corrosive or skin-injury compounds remains as
15 alternative possibility in the absence of full chemical
17 I think the importance of this episode to the
18 committee's work is to demonstrate for you that we
19 did have a large number of trained people expecting and
20 looking for chemical casualties and a solid system in
21 to report that information. Because we were so well
22 prepared, this event was very rapidly reported and
23 and later studied in depth and published.
24 Thank you.
25 MR. RIOS: Let me ask you, Colonel, was there
1 similar type of preparation made for assessing and dealing
2 with possible low levels of exposure to these agents and
3 what the long-term effects of those exposures may be,
4 have been?
5 COL DUNN: There was not.
6 MR. RIOS: None at all?
7 COL DUNN: In our course we taught the very
8 that is known about low-level subclinical exposure to
9 chemical warfare agents. By definition, of course,
10 subclinical exposure is subclinical, and we had our hands
11 full with being sure that we could immediately recognize
12 properly treat battlefield-level exposure to chemical
13 warfare agents.
14 What we were able to relate was published
15 information which is in primarily the industrial hygiene
16 toxicology literature of workers who had repeated low-dose
17 exposure both to mustard and to nerve agent in industrial
18 production facilities in Europe and Asia. And I
19 whether single low-dose exposure would or would not be
20 relevant to the kind of stuff that is available in the
21 literature about low-dose exposure over many years.
22 A tough subject, a very pertinent subject. We
23 not key on it. We keyed in our instruction on how to
24 recognize the battlefield exposures which we expected.
25 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: I guess just to follow up on
1 question that Rolando just asked, the low-dose exposure, I
2 understand it one-time exposure wouldn't have an impact if
3 it was very low dose, possibly. Do we have --
4 COL DUNN: I don't know that. What I do, what I
5 know is that we have an absence of data.
6 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Right. That's the problem, is
7 we don't know.
8 COL DUNN: Right.
9 MR. TURNER: Colonel Dunn, are you satisfied to
10 reasonable degree of medical certainty that the soldier
11 explored the Iraqi bunker was exposed to mustard?
12 COL DUNN: I would be much more comfortable with
13 that statement if I had had the backup analytical
14 confirmation in a Stateside laboratory.
15 Lieutenant Colonel Martin is a chemical officer,
16 and he'll be speaking this afternoon. And he is qualified
17 as I am not -- I'm a medical doctor -- he can comment on
18 factors which affect the accuracy of Fox vehicle spectra.
19 What we reported, again in the medical
20 was we thought on clinical grounds that this was mustard
21 exposure, but we were unable to chemically confirm it.
22 MR. TURNER: You were not surprised that you
23 unable to chemically confirm it, given the low exposure
24 level, though, were you?
25 COL DUNN: For example, my laboratory which
1 for thiodiglycol in the urine has a lower limit of
2 for that of something on the order of five nanograms per
3 milliliter. In order to get that level in the urine in
4 experimental animals, they have to be exposed to at least
5 microgram levels of mustard on the skin.
6 Our clinical colleagues in Europe who did the
7 tests in the urine of Iran-Iraq War mustard casualties
8 only pick up positives in thiodiglycol in the urine from
9 those who had much greater areas of skin involvement. So
10 thought it was worth the effort to collect and analyze the
11 sample, but we weren't optimistic that we would pick it
12 MR. TURNER: So given the small area of the
13 blisters --
14 COL DUNN: I'm not surprised.
15 MR. TURNER: -- it's not surprising?
16 COL DUNN: I'm not surprised that the assay was
18 MR. TURNER: And on the retesting of the flak
19 jacket and other clothing that was shipped back to the
20 States --
21 COL DUNN: Okay.
22 MR. TURNER: -- that's not surprising to you,
23 either, or is that something for Martin?
24 COL DUNN: My area of expertise is medical
25 clinical testing, body fluids, stuff like that. Colonel
1 Martin is much better qualified to comment on the testing
2 clothing items.
3 MR. CROSS: Has there been a follow-up
4 on that particular soldier to see, five years later, you
5 know, what his current state of health is?
6 COL DUNN: I think that you could easily obtain
7 that information. I left the Institute of Chemical
8 in July of 1991, and I haven't been personally involved in
9 that follow-up. But it would seem to me that the
10 could obtain that information.
11 MS. KNOX: COL Dunn -- I'm sorry --
12 MR. CROSS: Go ahead.
13 MS. KNOX: I was curious. With your background
14 chemical and biological warfare, why do you think that
15 Saddam Hussein was doing research on such things as
17 COL DUNN: To ask me to speculate on the mind
18 Saddam Hussein was one of the few questions that I wasn't
19 expecting to get this morning, ma'am. I don't --
20 MS. KNOX: What kind of symptoms --
21 COL DUNN: I don't --
22 MS. KNOX: -- do you think that would cause?
23 COL DUNN: I don't view him as a very nice
24 but --
25 MS. KNOX: Right.
1 COL DUNN: -- but what I will tell you is that
2 just going back to the database that we have from the Iran-
3 Iraq War where they really went at each other with chem,
4 purpose in that conflict was to produce immediate
5 disability, immediate large numbers of severe casualties
6 order to gain a tactical advantage, so that none of our
7 assessments of what we might come up against -- all of our
8 assessments were keyed on the intentional use of CW by
9 in that way that they were well trained and well
10 in doing, if that's any help.
11 MR. RIOS: Colonel Dunn, given your experience
12 knowledge and the fact that you were over there expecting
13 direct chemical attack, could you -- is it fair to say
14 you can't categorically tell this committee that there was
15 no, that it was not possible that there couldn't have been
16 some level of exposure to our troops that would have
17 resulted in some of the long-term effects we've been
18 about over the past year and a half?
19 COL DUNN: That's a very important question, and
20 let me take the time to answer it carefully.
21 On the one hand, I think very easily the high
22 point of my professional life up until now has been to
23 and work with those 2,000 or so really magnificent young
24 physicians, PAs and nurses that we put over into the Gulf.
25 They were all really in a high state of readiness to
1 recognize and deal with the kind of battlefield exposures
2 CW that Iraq had practiced for the preceding eight years.
3 So I'm very comfortable in saying just based on
4 their motivation and their competence, just the tremendous
5 impression I had of their ability and their honesty all
6 the theater, that had intentional battlefield use of CW by
7 Iraq occurred, we would have known it and we would have
8 dealt with it, and we would have dealt with it very well.
9 I've just got the greatest amount of respect for all of
10 those young people that we taught and worked with.
11 The other aspect of your question, can we
12 at the molecular level any form or dose of exposure which
13 was subclinical, no, I certainly cannot do that. I don't
14 have the data to say that.
15 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: As a follow-up, going back to
16 the lack of data, is Aberdeen Proving Ground exploring the
17 possibility of low-level exposure and trying to come up
18 some data to possibly suggest that there could have been
19 use of chemical weapons at a lower level that would have
20 some impact or effect?
21 COL DUNN: Having been out of the responsibility
22 loop for that since about July of 1991, ma'am, I would
23 probably refer you to Colonel Koenigsberg who's head of
24 DOD PGI team. He's here today, and I'm certain that we
25 could facilitate contact between you and the responsible
1 folks at Aberdeen Proving Ground. I'd rather have a
2 researched solid answer to your question than for me to
4 MR. CROSS: Part of your testimony really
5 in on direct usage and --
6 COL DUNN: Yes.
7 MR. CROSS: -- and I understand what you're
8 now. But I think we're hearing more and more about
9 incidental usage, about maybe where we were bombing
10 in Iraq and then with the prevailing winds and potential
11 fallout over the Kuwaiti AOR.
12 COL DUNN: Yes.
13 MR. CROSS: What's your gut feel that chemical
14 exposure happening that way?
15 COL DUNN: Again, I'm not a detector or spectra
16 kind of guy. I'm a medical doctor who looks at
17 and it's really tough for me to speculate in any kind of
18 useful manner about that.
19 The one episode that I touched on in detail
20 we saw the Fox spectra on videotape up here just before I
21 spoke, I'm quite comfortable in saying that all of that
22 compatible with an incidental mustard exposure and
23 unfortunately we don't have the analytical confirmation
24 make that 100 percent.
25 But I think it's probably pretty critical for
1 to stick to the facts and what I actually know to be the
3 MR. TURNER: In your statement, you suggest
4 the soldier might not have noticed a later exposure to
5 of many highly corrosives. Is there any factual basis
6 that statement, or is that just a suggestion of another
7 scenario that might have happened?
8 COL DUNN: Faced with the facts as we have
9 clinical setting to really support sulphur mustard
10 and not having the analytical confirmation later on, if
11 question is could anything else have possibly done this,
12 answer would have to be, yep, there are any number of skin
13 injury corrosive compounds, strong acids, strong alkali --
14 MR. TURNER: No, no. The question is: Was
15 any evidence that that actually happened?
16 COL DUNN: No.
17 MR. TURNER: Okay.
18 COL DUNN: No.
19 MR. TURNER: You trained medical personnel that
20 were stationed at Al Jubail?
21 COL DUNN: Yes.
22 MR. TURNER: Did any reports of possible
23 or biological incidents come to you up through the chain
24 command from Al Jubail?
25 COL DUNN: Only indirectly, and I'll describe
1 for you.
2 MR. TURNER: Would you please?
3 COL DUNN: We had a team with the Marine
4 Expeditionary Force and forward of Al Jubail on the way
5 going into Kuwait, we had a team set up with one of
6 Marine Corps clearing companies, Navy medical
7 company -- I believe the tactical unit that it supported
8 the 2nd Marine Division -- and we had an initial report
9 an operating room had to be cleared out because of a
10 positive reading for mustard on a chemical agent monitor,
12 We learned that one of my guys, Major Bob Gunn,
13 occupational health physician who was on the scene there,
14 took a look at that situation and learned that what had
15 off that CAM was a volatile anesthetic called
16 methoxyflurane. And methoxyflurane will, in fact, cause
17 CAM to alarm in that mode.
18 So, again I think there was some negative value
19 having our expert teams in the area, instead of having a
20 closed-down operating room and the inability to take care
21 casualties, they were very quickly able to get that
22 operating room back in business and continue the mission.
23 To my knowledge, that was the one episode of
24 concern that came to medical attention from that sector of
25 operation, and it's possible that considering the
1 chain, some of those Marines might have been moved onward
2 back to Fleet 5 at Al Jubail.
3 MR. TURNER: Aside from this one incident where
4 the soldier was exploring the bunker, are you aware of any
5 other acute exposure or clinical presentation of either
6 nerve or mustard agent that occurred?
7 COL DUNN: I am not.
8 MS. GWIN: We have a history from the Marine
9 that cites blistering on exposed arms of two crewmen. Was
10 that reported to you during the war?
11 COL DUNN: It was not.
12 MS. GWIN: Have you been involved in any attempt
13 to follow up on that?
14 COL DUNN: No.
15 MR. TURNER: If I understood your testimony
16 you did not train people to recognize subclinical
17 to either mustard or nerve agents; is that correct?
18 COL DUNN: Right. Just to put that as plainly
19 possible, we taught a clinical course; therefore
20 phenomena would have been off our scope.
21 MS. KNOX: How about nonlethal viral agents?
22 COL DUNN: We sure had our share of those in-
23 theater. In terms of --
24 MS. KNOX: But were you --
25 COL DUNN: -- you know, natural infection.
1 MS. KNOX: Right. The people that went
2 your class, did they get any education concerning
3 what to look for?
4 COL DUNN: We concentrated on BOT and
5 both bacterial agents. And in fact, and perhaps
6 Colonel Martin can speak to this in more depth. The
7 we had concerning BW holdings primarily concentrated on
8 and anthrax and what I know of later United Nations
9 confirmatory efforts in the Gulf confirmed that those two
10 agents were the key BW holdings. So I think we were on
11 target there.
12 MR. CROSS: Colonel, in light of some of the
13 lessons learned in Desert Storm, what are we doing in the
14 military for future conflicts in terms of chemical and
15 biological weapons? You know, are we developing new
16 equipment, has the training gotten more intense, or
17 your feeling on that subject?
18 COL DUNN: Let me split that into two different
19 things. First, personal feelings and second what I'm
20 now officially responsible for and what I have been
21 responsible for in the recent past.
22 Personal feeling, chemical defense has become
23 of my pet rocks. Therefore, you can expect me to be a
24 strong advocate and proponent of as much training and
25 readiness in medical defense against CW as we can have.
1 If you were to talk to my friend, Colonel Ken
2 Farmer, who is the command surgeon of U.S. European
3 today supporting the deployment in Bosnia, he would
4 be equally spun up about how to deal with land mines and
5 mine casualties. So I think a lot of what your area of
6 emphasis is is on what you perceive the immediate threat
7 problem is.
8 Following the conflict, and following a couple
9 other assignments, I was commander of our hospital at Fort
10 Polk, Louisiana for two years, from 1993 to 1995. You may
11 recall that there was a southern movement of Iraqi armored
12 forces, I believe, in November or December of 1994 and
13 Fort Polk we sent and air defense artillery brigade to
14 Kuwait on very split-second short notice.
15 I had fifty providers on the staff at my
16 and in sorting out who was going to go to Kuwait that
17 with the air defense artillery brigade I found out in
18 thirty minutes that I had eight M2C3 graduates, and you
19 bet that everybody who went to medically support that
20 brigade was an M2C3 graduate.
21 Stepping back out of those personal experiences
22 into my current official capacity working for Assistant
23 Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, I do have to
24 with supporting our assessments of readiness to do all
25 aspects of combat casualty care. We're working very
1 with the Department of Defense Inspector General and with
2 the services on ensuring that we always have a sufficient
3 number of deployable physicians and medical personnel
4 credentialing and training is fully up to speed against
5 spectrum of threats that we're potentially going to run
7 So, yes, we've got things ongoing, especially
8 plans and credentialing mechanisms to say that unless
9 up to speed, Doc, on your chemical casualty care and on
10 ability to do ATLS and ACLS, both a couple of good things
11 for people to do in a conflict, you're not going to get
12 specialty pay, or you're not going to get your proficiency
14 So, there are some very good, very strong
15 efforts to ensure that we maintain a decent level of
17 MS. GWIN: You said that protection against
18 chemical warfare was your pet rock. Do you have a
19 who's focused on biological warfare in the same way?
20 COL DUNN: Fortunately I have a number of
21 colleagues, and again I'm not the only guy who's holding
22 chemical pet rock. I think one real benefit of, if
23 any benefit to what we went through in 1990 and 1991 is
24 we're no longer just one deep. There's five or a half
25 people who are really committed at a senior level to
1 ensuring that we have good protection against both chem
3 MS. GWIN: Is it primarily one service?
4 COL DUNN: This is primarily to the Army, the
5 and the Air Force and also within the medical research and
6 material command of the Army which has the lead
7 both for chemical and biological defense.
8 MR. BROWN: Colonel Dunn, you've described this
9 very elaborate and well-put-together surveillance, medical
10 surveillance system that was in the Gulf looking for the
11 possibility of at least chemical attack and a couple of
12 biologicals, I guess, as well.
13 We've heard from several witnesses this morning,
14 we've heard in other hearings that we've had, our
15 has heard about the Al Jubail incident, and I'm wondering
16 you could tell us something about how that surveillance
17 system, the system that you described that was looking for
18 health effects, any health effects that may have occurred,
19 how that system worked in that particular instance, if it
20 picked up anything.
21 COL DUNN: Are you asking how did I find out
22 the individuals who --
23 MR. BROWN: No. I'm wondering if that
24 surveillance system that was in place, that you described,
25 detected -- how it interacted with that incident. Were
1 incidences of health effects or exposure effects detected
2 this surveillance system from that incident, for instance?
3 COL DUNN: We were looking and I can -- I can
4 have a fair amount of confidence that there was nothing
5 inhibiting any of our people in that network from passing
6 information. To say that we just didn't see the kind of
7 intentional battlefield use that we were trained to
8 recognize would suggest to me that I don't think it
10 Again, if you'll reflect on what young doctors
11 nurses, at least half of them from our reserve components,
12 are keyed in on doing and reporting and looking for, it's
13 pretty tough for me to imagine any one of them
14 an episode like this and not reporting it or keeping it to
15 themselves. There is just no motive that I can imagine
16 someone to not report or to conceal that kind of a thing.
17 Chains of command, same thing. There was the
18 strongest motivation on the part of commanders and command
19 surgeons to get the information up the chain and to get it
20 out. And again, the one time that it happened, I was
21 reasonably close to the scene, and the system worked the
22 it should have.
23 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Sir, this is a follow-up. At
24 Jubail there were no reported health symptoms, the
25 physicians reported no symptoms from the persons who we've
1 had telling us --
2 COL DUNN: Yeah.
3 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Okay.
4 COL DUNN: Talking later on to some of the folks
5 who were at Al Jubail, many of them assigned in peacetime
6 Portsmouth Naval Hospital in the Tidewater area, their key
7 concerns had to do with some refineries and domestic
8 chemical plants in the area, and with inhalation problems
9 from those kinds of things.
10 And that was really the focus of their
11 They were expecting and looking for exposures to chemical
12 warfare agents, and they just didn't see them. And they
13 were concentrating mostly on, gee, what was that stuff in
14 the plants.
15 MS. KNOX: Colonel Dunn --
16 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: But then again --
17 MS. KNOX: Oh, I'm sorry. Go ahead.
18 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Just then, again, when you're
19 talking about the attacks of chemical warfare agents,
20 talking about large concentrations that would be --
21 COL DUNN: Battlefield use.
22 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: -- casualties, battlefield
23 COL DUNN: Right, right.
24 MS. KNOX: Would you say that you've maintained
25 good health since you've come back from the Gulf War?
1 COL DUNN: Let's see. I've gotten older. Yes,
2 I'm fortunate, I've maintained good health.
3 MS. KNOX: Did you take the anthrax, botulinum
4 the PV tablets?
5 COL DUNN: All three.
6 MS. KNOX: All three.
7 COL DUNN: Again, my job was to go with my
8 where we were expecting to get slime, so that it was a
9 curious thing. We would show up at a unit and people
10 know who we were and they'd be real happy to see us until
11 told them why we were there. And, yes, I took all three.
12 I took 20 doses of pyridostigmine over a period
13 about six days; I had two doses of BOT and two doses of
15 MR. CROSS: In your current condition --
16 -- in your current position do you see an alarmingly high
17 number of Gulf War veterans showing up at Army clinics
18 nationwide, or does the number fall in the realm of, you
19 know, what you'd anticipate after a major conflict?
20 COL DUNN: Sir, I think the right individual to
21 answer that query would be Colonel Koenigsberg whose team
22 specifically keyed to looking at those numbers and
23 data like that.
24 Again, going back to my personal experience for
25 two years quite recently as a hospital commander at Fort
1 Polk, Louisiana, we served an area of approximately 40,000
2 beneficiaries. I looked up the number of folks that we
3 evaluated in the CCEP, and during my command tour we
4 evaluated about 140 individuals out of that service area.
5 don't know the ends or the denominators or how many
6 Gulf veterans that specifically addresses. Colonel
7 Koenigsberg would be much better prepared to give you hard
9 MR. CROSS: Any further questions from the
10 (No response.)
11 MR. CROSS: All right. Colonel Dunn, thank you
12 very much for your testimony.
13 COL DUNN: Thank you, sir.
14 MR. CROSS: What I'd like to do right now is, to
15 maintain a schedule I'd like to take a lunch break, and at
16 1:15 p.m. we'll be back, convene. Colonel Koenigsberg and
17 Lieutenant Colonel Martin will be here.
18 Thank you very much.
19 (The lunch recess was taken.)
1 A F T E R N O O N S E S S I O N
2 MR. CROSS: I'd like to call this meeting back
4 We have in front of us here two individuals. We
5 have Colonel Edward Koenigsberg, M.D., United States Air
6 Force, and Lieutenant Colonel James Martin, Persian Gulf
7 Investigation Team, Department of Defense.
8 Welcome, gentlemen.
9 COL KOENIGSBERG: Good afternoon. As stated, I
10 Colonel Koenigsberg, an Air Force Medical Corps officer,
11 I am the director of the Persian Gulf Veterans Illness
12 Investigation Team that functions under the direction of
13 Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.
14 Your Committee requested we discuss efforts of
15 investigation team to explore the possibility that U.S.
16 troops in the Persian Gulf were exposed to chemical and
17 biologic warfare weapons.
18 Before discussing the issue I would like to
19 reiterate two points of information that were provided in
20 last testimony to the committee.
21 First, the investigation team was established by
22 the Deputy Secretary of Defense for the purpose of taking
23 in-depth look at all possible causes of illnesses seen in
24 the veterans of the war. No restrictions were placed on
1 As part of our efforts, possible chemical and
2 biologic warfare exposure has been only one area of
3 investigation. We are also looking at immunizations,
4 prophylactic medications, endemic infections, pesticides,
5 contaminated water, propellants in missiles, hydrocarbon
6 fuels, chemicals used in and on tents and clothing, oil
7 fires and depleted uranium.
8 We are also examining autopsy reports, mortality
9 rates and veterinarian reports on dead animals as well as
10 numerous incidents and theories of causes that have been
11 proposed by the veterans and investigative experts.
12 The second point I would like to make is that
13 team is made of joint service representatives with
14 in medicine, military operations, intelligence, and
16 In our efforts to evaluate and examine the
17 possibility the troops were exposed to chemical and
18 warfare weapons we have reviewed and investigated
19 reported to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and
20 Urban Affairs, the House Veterans Affairs Committee, and
21 House Subcommittee on Human Resources and
22 Relations. We have investigated incidents reported to
23 committee at the various hearings, incidents from the toll-
24 free incident reporting telephone line, findings of the
25 inspection teams, and incidents from the Marine Corps
2 We have reviewed previous findings of the
3 Defensive Science Board and the Institute of Medicine. We
4 have sent people to interview reserve units with high
5 of reported illnesses, had telephone calls and personal
6 interviews with veterans and leaders of veterans groups,
7 met with physicians treating veterans. We have met with
8 senior member of the Reigle Committee Staff who will
9 later on today, and with many individuals having specific
10 theories on chemical and biologic warfare exposure.
11 We have consulted with experts on chemical and
12 biologic warfare in the civilian sector, the intelligence
13 community, the military research community, and various
14 laboratories which evaluated materials sent back from
15 Gulf War.
16 We have met with and talked to military
17 from other countries and have consulted with the
18 Intelligence Agency, the Centers for Disease Control
19 Prevention, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of
20 for Atomic Energy, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
21 One of our investigators will be leaving shortly to
22 with experts in the Kuwait area.
23 We are also looking at reports of individuals
24 treated in military clinics and hospitals during the war,
25 all the autopsy reports of individuals who died during the
1 war, and reports of any unusual health problems in Iraqi
2 citizens. We are examining a large volume of field
3 logs and message traffic, both classified and
4 which are currently being consolidated and reviewed by the
5 services, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Joint Staff
6 and the Central Command.
7 As unclassified copies of this data are being
8 placed on the Department of Defense's Gulflink Home Page
9 the Internet, it is important to keep in mind that many
10 entries are based on unsubstantiated reports of possible
11 or related incidents which appeared during the chaotic
12 atmosphere of war. It is necessary that our team do much
13 more research before a statement can be accepted as
14 In the process, we make use of unit locator data
15 from the Joint Environmental Support Group at Fort
16 personnel data from the Defense Manpower Data Center in
17 California, health data from the Comprehensive Clinical
18 Evaluation Program, and the VA Registry, other entries
19 the unit logs, and reports of unit investigations into
20 original log entry.
21 We are working with experts to develop models
22 which would give a more comprehensive view of possible
23 dispersion of material as a result of bombing or
24 of Iraqi research production or weapon storage sites. We
25 have also provided data for the geographic information
1 system being developed by the Army at the Center for
2 Promotion and Preventive Medicine and have participated in
3 the evaluation of a SCUD missile report that was presented
4 to the Presidential Advisory Committee by one of the
6 It is probably fair to state that at no time in
7 the history of the United States military were we more
8 of the possibility of a chemical and biologic warfare
9 than in the Persian Gulf War. Prior to deployment there
10 were extensive consultations within the government and
11 civilian experts to discuss protective measures and
12 detection procedures. We are examining the
13 of these meetings.
14 During the deployment, coalition forces made
15 serious threats of retaliation if they were to find
16 evidence of CBW used by Iraq. To this end, teams were
17 established at multiple command levels to look into
18 document any suspected incident of CBW exposure. We
19 reviewing reports from these teams, and have also had
20 personal contact with individuals responsible for
21 suspected incidents.
22 During the war, samples of suspected material
23 collected and copies of tapes were made of the findings by
24 Fox Chemical Detection Vehicles. Much of this material
25 sent back to the U.S. for evaluation by CBW experts. We
1 have contacted the laboratories that did this work and
2 reviewed their reports.
3 We have also looked at satellite imagery,
4 reports and documentation of SCUD and Patriot Missile
5 firings. In essence we are reviewing a massive amount of
6 documentation that was prepared due to the very real
7 that CBW weapons could have been used against our troops.
8 As we complete our individual investigations,
9 results will be shared with the public on Gulflink. If we
10 are fortunate enough to make a real breakthrough on this
11 issue, the Secretary of Defense may wish to personally
12 release this information himself.
13 I would now like to ask Lieutenant Colonel
14 Martin from the investigation team to address some of
15 specific details that your staff requested we cover.
16 Lieutenant Colonel Martin is an Army Chemical
17 Operations Officer, and was deployed to the Gulf during
18 post-Desert Storm period.
19 LTC MARTIN: Good afternoon, and thank you for
20 opportunity to testify before this committee.
21 As previously stated, I am a United States Army
22 Chemical Operations Officer assigned to the Department of
23 Defense Persian Gulf War Veterans Illnesses Investigation
25 As an Army chemical officer I have been assigned
1 to positions where I have been the primary staff officer
2 advising unit commanders at various levels on matters
3 concerning nuclear, biological and chemical operations.
4 As a major in June of 1991 I was assigned as the
5 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment's chemical officer and
6 deployed with this unit to Kuwait as a part of the
7 stabilizing force sent immediately after Desert Storm
8 redeployed. In this capacity, I also advised the
9 commander on how to best employ the regimental's chemical
10 troop which is a company-sized unit responsible for
11 providing battlefield smoke, chemical decontamination and
12 chemical reconnaissance.
13 This latter responsibility involved the
14 of a platoon of six Fox reconnaissance vehicles and crews.
15 These experiences have helped me understand some of the
16 complexities of the issues being investigated.
17 Our investigative efforts concerning potential
18 chemical and biological agent exposure are focused on two
19 broad but distinct areas. The first area concerns the
20 deliberate Iraqi employment of chemical or biological
21 in offensive or defensive operations. The second concerns
22 possible low-level exposure resulting from the incidental
23 release of chemical agents from destroyed chemical
24 production storage facilities by the air war campaign or
25 local demolition operations.
1 Before discussing each of these broad areas, I
2 would like to convey the urgency and importance the threat
3 of Iraqi CBW use placed on all levels of Department of
4 Defense in the National Command Authority in 1990-'91.
5 Prior to and during Operation Desert Shield-Desert Storm,
6 Department of Defense and the entire intelligence
7 assessed Iraq to have chemical and biological
8 and believed there was a real possibility that Iraq would
9 use these weapons.
10 Deploying units conducted extensive individual
11 collective NBC training to prepare for this contingency.
12 Military commanders as well as intelligence and chemical
13 staff officers from the lowest unit level through CentCom
14 were very aware of this threat, and to use an Army term,
15 were leaning forward in the foxhole to gather any
16 information or evidence of Iraqi intentions or actual use
17 these weapons.
18 A special element of medical specialists was
19 presented in-theater to examine and confirm possible
20 chemical casualties. The Joint Captured Material
21 Exploitation Center, JCMEC, the Joint Service Unit, which
22 also included coalition members, other coalition members,
23 was activated during the war to collect captured material
24 for intelligence exploitation. The primary mission for
25 JCMEC was to collect air and soil samples for possible
1 chemical and biological contamination.
2 From the first week of January through the end
3 March 1991 over 1,000 samples were analyzed. If Saddam
4 Hussein employed chemical or biological agents
5 coalition forces, we were ready to quickly verify
6 forward the evidence so that an appropriate political and
7 military response could be made. It was a matter of
8 urgency and importance.
9 Although Iraq had the capability to use weapons
10 mass destruction, to date we have found no evidence that
11 used these weapons. Even though Iraqi ballistic missiles
12 were launched against targets in both Saudi Arabia and
13 Israel, our investigation to date has shown no evidence
14 these missile attacks included chemical or biological
15 warheads. Each SCUD employed against Israel and Saudi
16 Arabia was tracked from launch to impact or interception
17 air defense systems. Each known impact was investigated
18 examined, and in each case there was no evidence of
19 and biological agent contamination.
20 There is also no evidence to date that tactical
21 ammunition containing chemical agents was ever issued to
22 Iraqi artillery units from storage bunker facilities, and
23 there's no evidence that chemical or biological agents
24 employed covertly.
25 Finally, after reviewing currently-available
1 medical records and reports, with the exception of one
2 possible blister agent exposure, we have seen no chemical
3 agent-related casualties or deaths.
4 The possibility of a unit's exposure to low-
5 chemical agent concentrations is a much more difficult
6 problem to investigate and make conclusions. U.S.
7 agent alarms did not detect levels below those that would
8 produce those that would produce early symptoms in
9 Individuals exposed to low levels of chemical agents
10 not exhibit acute chemical agent symptoms which could be
11 reported. When chemical agent alarms did not sound, more
12 sensitive detectors, such as the M256 chemical agent
13 detection kits would not have been used to identify the
14 presence of a chemical agent.
15 There was a significant effort by Department of
16 Defense planners prior to Operation Desert Storm to
17 the chemical agent exposure risk to coalition forces that
18 might result from coalition bombing. This involved
19 extensive downwind hazard modeling and a consideration of
20 spectrum of specialized weapons which could be employed
21 bunker destruction. Modeling efforts at that time
22 little or no risk of any chemical exposure.
23 Our investigation team is working with the
24 Intelligence Agency to examine new enhanced modeling
25 which include corrections for the effect of weather using
1 recorded weather patterns and actual weather data. The
2 investigation team is also consolidating reports, all
3 available chemical agent alarms from unit logs, the
4 reporting hotline, eyewitness accounts and other reported
6 With this information, we plan to conduct a time-
7 distance analysis by plotting alarm detections where and
8 when they occurred to determine if there were any patterns
9 indicating a potential cloud movement.
10 We are continuing to investigate reports of
11 detections from 256 kits, many of which are not
12 but have been reported by veterans.
13 Our investigation into low-level chemical
14 exposure remains open and will continue for some time.
15 Currently, our investigation team will continue to
16 research on the clinical and health-related aspects of
17 level chemical agent exposure.
18 As revealed by recent Iraqi declarations, Iraq
19 also had an advanced biological warfare program including
20 robust biological agent research, development and
21 weaponization efforts. To date, we have found no
22 that biological agents were used against U.S. forces.
23 Sampling teams collected over 1,000 air samples, all of
24 which were negative for known biological agents.
25 Although there were some limitations in our
1 biological defense during the Gulf War, especially in real-
2 time detection capability, many efforts initiated during
3 war, including this sampling program and the BW training
4 given to medical and other personnel support this
5 assessment. We will, of course, continue to investigate
6 information of potential relevance to this issue.
7 At this point I will present our findings on two
8 well-documented and highly visible incidents as requested
9 your staff. The first incident concerns the possible
10 blister agent exposure of a soldier with the 3rd Armored
11 Division on the 1st of March 1991. On this day this
12 individual was exploring bunkers in southeastern Iraq near
13 the border of northern Kuwait.
14 According to the soldier's account, he entered
15 underground bunker near a location previously occupied by
16 Iraqi artillery unit. The bunker had a tight entrance and
17 passageway. He observed crates and loose artillery
18 projectiles in disarray. As he proceeded he noticed a
19 and crossbones symbol on one or more crates, became
20 and immediately left the bunker.
21 As he was moving through the passageway, he
22 against the walls whereupon his Nomex tank and coveralls
23 a ballistic protective vest were soiled. About eight
24 later he began to feel pain on the skin of his upper left
25 arm. This continued until the following day when two
1 at the unit aid station, both trained in the
2 and handling of chemical casualties, suspected that he
3 mild contact with a blister agent. This clinical
4 was later confirmed by two physicians, one of whom was
5 Colonel Michael A. Dunn, then the commander of Medical
6 Research Institute for Chemical Defense, and part of
7 medical staff present to verify chemical agent
9 The mass spectrometer from a Fox NBC vehicle
10 detected traces of H-mustard agent at the bunker site and
11 the soldier's clothing. Laboratory analysis of the
12 soldier's protective vest and Nomex coveralls, conducted
13 the Edgewood Research Development and Engineering Center
14 showed no evidence of chemical agents; however the lab
15 analysis aren't total indicative because the samples may
16 have been handled properly, and there was a significant
17 lag from when the incident occurred to the actual testing
18 the samples.
19 The soldier's urine sample was also negative for
20 elevated levels of thiodiglycol, a breakdown product and
21 indication of H-mustard exposure. These results, however,
22 do not totally exclude a possible mild exposure to a
23 agent since the area of contact was so small.
24 At this point we feel that this exposure was
25 probably the result of an incidental contact with a
1 agent from a contaminated bunker, and did not result from
2 more widespread exposure.
3 The second incident that we were asked to
4 was the events that occurred at the Port of Jubail on
5 January 1991 specifically involving the Naval Mobile
6 Construction Battalion 24, a Navy Seabee unit. This
7 incident constitutes a large portion of the
8 testimony presented in Senator Reigle's May 1994
9 concerning the health consequences of the Persian Gulf
10 It has also been a subject of much speculation as to
11 this incident involved an Iraqi chemical agent attack.
12 To fully understand what occurred during
13 period, the investigation team thoroughly examined
14 unit's command operational logs and unit medical
15 Additionally, we interviewed unit personnel to include
16 leaders, NBC detection monitoring team personnel and
17 numerous other unit members, some of whom provided
18 in Senator Reigle's report.
19 From the unit command post, air detachment and
20 other operational logs during the period 19 through 21
21 January, it is evident that the unit went to general
22 quarters or alert status twice; once early morning on 19
23 January 1991, and once late night or early morning on
24 20th/21st of January 1991. Distinctive events occurred
25 each alert.
1 On the morning of 19 January 1991 there was a
2 reference to alert sirens, a loud noise at Camp 13
3 by a documented M256 kit test with negative results
4 conducted by the command bunker NBC team. The majority of
5 witnesses in the Reigle report refer to this event.
6 During the second alert there was a log
7 to two explosions southeast of camp, but no record of any
8 M256 kit test being conducted. The time of the second
9 corresponds approximately to the time a SCUD launched
10 towards Daharan, and was most likely intercepted by a
11 Patriot Missile at very high altitude. The Port of Jubail
12 was on this missile's flight path.
13 Eyewitness accounts are generally inconsistent
14 combine details of each of these distinct events, making
15 difficult to determine what actually occurred. Some
16 eyewitnesses described a fireball and illuminated sky.
17 Others described a falling mist and symptoms exhibited
18 including running noses, numbness and burning sensations
19 their skin. One unit member smelled an overpowering odor
20 like ammonia, while others interviewed didn't recall any
21 significant odor or smell.
22 Some unit members state they were unprotected
23 exhibited no symptoms. Members of the unit's NBC team
24 stationed at the command bunker confirmed the negative
25 readings of the M256 kit tests conducted at several
1 different locations. The complaints reported by some
2 observers are not consistent with nerve and mustard agent
3 exposure symptoms.
4 Also, a careful review of the unit medical
5 indicate there was no significant increase in the number
6 Camp 13 and air detachment personnel reporting for clinic
7 visits, and no evidence of chemical agent physical
8 complaints or the type of symptoms described by the
10 There was, however, an unusual increase in the
11 number of personnel requiring medical attention some two
12 months later on the 19th of March 1991 when a
13 number of unit personnel complained of symptoms
14 with noxious fumes exposure and other possible unknown
15 exposures. This increase is associated with the release
16 fumes from reactivation of a nearby Saudi fertilizer
17 which may have also caused unit personnel T-shirts to turn
18 purple at that time.
19 It is our current opinion that there was an
20 explosion or explosions, and some unit members exhibited
21 various acute symptoms. But these symptoms were not
22 consistent with those associated with a chemical agent
23 exposure. We will continue to investigate this incident
24 order to ascertain the nature and source of the
25 that affected this group of personnel.
1 I'd like to conclude by saying all of these and
2 many other investigative issues remain open and require
3 additional research. Investigating reports of possible
4 chemical and biological agent exposure will continue as
5 important effort, but as Colonel Koenigsberg has
6 stated, this is only one of many efforts our
7 team is pursuing.
8 Thank you again for this opportunity to testify
9 before the committee.
10 MR. CROSS: Questions from the panel?
11 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: I have one in particular
12 you mentioned that current research is being conducted to
13 determine some of the effects of low-level exposure to
14 chemicals. Is that happening?
15 COL KOENIGSBERG: No, we didn't really comment
16 that. What we did say is that, you know, that we don't
17 a good handle on low-level exposure. There is research
18 we're aware of that's going on on the effects of low-
19 There's very little that's been reported in the
20 We did do literature searches for work on low-level
21 and delayed neurotoxicity exposure.
22 But what we have been able to find is that in
23 cases that are mentioned it generally shows that someone
24 an acute reaction and then goes on to some type of a low
25 level. There is no good documentation that would fit in
1 this, and if you look at the OSHA standards and people
2 work around this, it isn't really too applicable to this.
3 So we have not been able to find a lot of good data to
5 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Is there any kind of research
6 being done, though, or conducted, let's say at Aberdeen
7 at the other fort that you mentioned in Virginia, I can't
8 or Washington, regarding any type of low-level exposure --
9 COL KOENIGSBERG: Not that we know of.
10 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: -- from --
11 MS. GWIN: DOD is conducting no low-level --
12 COL KOENIGSBERG: I --
13 MS. GWIN: -- exposure research?
14 COL KOENIGSBERG: There's none that we know of
15 ourselves. There may be something out there, but I know
16 nothing that's being done at this point.
17 MR. RIOS: Colonel Koenigsberg, based on your
18 investigation, is it possible that the United States could
19 have laid out a strategy, a bombing strategy that would
20 have resulted in collateral exposure of chemical and
21 biological agents in Iraq?
22 COL KOENIGSBERG: I'm a physician, I would not
23 able to answer that question on bombing strategy. I can
24 tell you that there were a lot of, there was a lot of
25 modeling done before the bombing was done. There was a
1 of discussion before the bombing was done between people
2 that know chemical and biologic. I think they used what
3 they thought was the right strategy. I wouldn't be able
4 comment on that.
5 MR. RIOS: But I thought you said you conducted
6 investigation. Are you telling us that your investigation
7 did not include a review of the bombing strategy?
8 COL KOENIGSBERG: We have looked peripherally at
9 the bombing strategy. We will look into the bombing
10 strategy further.
11 The major part that we have tried to look at is
12 the effects of the bombing, not so much as to what the
13 strategy was, but what happened after the bombing.
14 MR. RIOS: So in other words, you didn't check
15 see, for example, where Iraq would have stored their
16 chemical and biological agents, and whether or not it
17 have been possible to conduct any considerable bombing in
18 Iraq without exposing some of those agents?
19 COL KOENIGSBERG: We have looked at where the
20 storage sites were. I cannot comment further than that.
21 MR. RIOS: You have looked at where the storage
22 sites were?
23 COL KOENIGSBERG: Of what is known, yes, we
24 MR. RIOS: Were they -- were they segregated
25 other -- I mean, were they in a certain area, or were
1 scattered, or were they hidden within other military
2 targets? What can you tell us about where they were
3 COL KOENIGSBERG: There was an extensive network
4 of facilities that were available, some of which even
5 the U.N. findings we're not sure which sites were devoted
6 a chemical-biologic war standard munition weapons. I
7 that that has been a very difficult question to answer
8 the very beginning of this.
9 We do know, and the U.N. has already commented
10 some sites that they know of where they believe chemical
11 and/or biologic agents were stored. We have looked at the
12 bombing of these particular sites. We have looked at the
13 weather conditions and the modeling that has been done on
14 these. We have looked at the, are beginning to look at
15 medical records of people that were in areas that could
16 been at all exposed to these sites, the bombing of the
18 We're looking -- our investigation is geared
19 towards incidents particularly, and the fact that
20 happened. And so if a site was hit and it had a chemical
21 biologic weapon, we would expect some kind of a reaction
22 from that, and we're looking to see if we can find at this
23 point, some reaction that might have occurred from the
24 bombing of any of those particular sites.
25 LTC MARTIN: Yeah, I'd just like to add that
1 are certain bunkers with certain types of characteristics
2 which were associated with the storage of chemical
3 munitions. Through the intelligence process they located
4 these and that's how they identified certain facilities in
5 which to hit.
6 DR. CUSTIS: So, am I to understand that
7 approaching the problem with the presumption that you
8 have hit some areas that had chemical and biological
9 and whether or not -- you're approaching it to see if
10 were any effects of that; is that correct?
11 LTC MARTIN: That's correct, yes.
12 COL KOENIGSBERG: Yeah, we're taking -- as an
13 investigation team, we try and take the same kind of
14 approach that a criminal investigation team was. We're
15 going to go at it from the idea that if there was
16 there, then we're going to look for a result. And that's
17 what we are doing.
18 MR. TURNER: I think this is probably best
19 directed to Colonel Martin and you, too, Colonel
20 Koenigsberg, on this one.
21 Do you have any basis for questioning Dr.
22 diagnosis and assessment that the soldier that was in the
23 bunker was exposed to mustard?
24 COL KOENIGSBERG: No.
25 LTC MARTIN: No.
1 MR. TURNER; So we can agree that that's a
2 exposure, can't we, here today?
3 COL KOENIGSBERG: We completely buy what his
4 statement was, yes.
5 MR. TURNER: Colonel Martin, what happened at Al
7 LTC MARTIN: Well, as I described in my
8 there were the two events. The first event occurred about
9 3:30 in the morning on the 19th. It was an -- obviously
10 there were certain events and circumstances that occurred
11 that caused the command element to check to see if there
12 chemical agents present. There were none.
13 And the second event occurred midnight of the
14 following day, which could have been an interception of a
15 Patriot missile. It tends to correspond to that time.
16 I don't know really what happened. I don't know
17 what they were exposed to. I believe that there was
18 something, but I don't know what it was.
19 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Following back on that
20 particular question, there were not chemicals detected,
21 that's using the equipment that you had available to
22 the agents?
23 LTC MARTIN: That's correct. That was the 256
25 MR. TURNER: I understand that the nuclear,
1 biological and chemical officer for the Seabees has
2 that he had positive 256 kit detection for that second
3 incident. Are you aware of that?
4 LTC MARTIN: I believe there's reference to that
5 in testimony in the Reigle report. It was not recorded in
6 either of the logs.
7 MR. TURNER: So, it's not a logged fact, but
8 is testimony to that effect?
9 LTC MARTIN: Yes.
10 MR. TURNER: Are you going to pursue that
11 testimony and interview that officer?
12 LTC MARTIN: Yes. I have not yet, but I
13 MR. TURNER: You plan to do that?
14 LTC MARTIN: Yes.
15 MR. TURNER: So there was a SCUD launch on
16 20th of January that coincides with this incident?
17 LTC MARTIN: Approximately the same time,
18 MR. TURNER: A SCUD carries nitric acid, it
19 red-fuming nitric acid as one of its propellants. Would
20 tell the panel a bit about what the possible effects of
21 destroying a missile with that kind of propellant on it
22 would be?
23 LTC MARTIN: Well, if a SCUD does not fly its
24 extended path, it would not burn up all of its propellant
25 its oxidizer which is the red-fuming nitric acid, so if it
1 was intercepted and it had not completed its path, chances
2 are if it was intercepted some of this propellant and
3 oxidizer may have been released, and the effects of red-
4 fuming nitric acid is similar to any acid exposure. It
5 would cause some burning sensations.
6 MR. TURNER: Could it cause respiratory
7 Colonel Martin?
8 LTC KOENIGSBERG: Yes, it would.
9 MR. TURNER: And I'm sorry, actually you're
10 to answer that one, Colonel Koenigsberg.
11 MS. TAYLOR: Would that be -- that's short-term
12 effect. Would there be any long-term effects?
13 COL KOENIGSBERG: That is a short-term as
14 to, say, a mustard agent which as you heard in this
15 morning's testimony, there is a delay of four to eight
16 before you start getting symptoms from a mustard agent.
17 don't feel the burning on your skin, nor on a neurotoxic
18 agent do you feel it immediately.
19 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: As a follow-up, would there be
20 any possibility that after that exposure there could be
21 recurring complications, skin rashes?
22 COL KOENIGSBERG: We don't know of any. There's
23 not that much literature on the exposure to red-fuming
24 nitric acid. The stuff that's out there says that it acts
25 like any other acid. Would you get a reaction, an
1 burn? Yes. Once it's off the skin, theoretically you
2 shouldn't keep getting recurring rashes and things of this
3 nature from the red-fuming nitric acid.
4 MR. TURNER: Is it fair to summarize your
5 testimony as we don't know what happened at Al Jubail, but
6 something happened and we need to find out what it was?
7 LTC MARTIN: Yes. But the symptoms exhibited by
8 the personnel there are not in sync with a normal blister
9 nerve agent exposure.
10 MR. TURNER: So the symptoms are not consistent
11 with an acute clinical exposure to either nerve agent or
12 mustard agent; is that correct?
13 LTC MARTIN: That's correct.
14 COL KOENIGSBERG: And I think I'd like to point
15 out that we have talked to quite a few people in that
16 We've talked to the physician assistant who was treating
17 patients, who saw the people on those days following these
18 two incidents. We've talked to the commander of the unit.
19 I don't know really how much further we're going to be
20 to go in this particular incident to get at what caused
21 I think we can say some things about what might
22 probably didn't cause it, but whatever did happen, we
23 know what it was that they were exposed to, and I don't
24 where else can go.
25 MR. TURNER: Again, I think this question is
1 directed to Colonel Martin.
2 Colonel, were there chemical weapons south of
3 31st parallel in the Kuwaiti theater of operations?
4 COL MARTIN: South of the 31st parallel? Yes.
5 Inspectors found chemical munitions at a bunker complex
6 south of that in October of '91.
7 MR. TURNER: On the question of coalition
8 of various Iraqi storage sites possibly causing fallout
9 exposure, do you know if coalition air forces used
10 incendiaries, incendiary weapons on chemical weapons
11 sites that were targeted?
12 LTC MARTIN: No, I'm not sure.
13 MR. TURNER: Can you find that out?
14 LTC MARTIN: Yes, we'll check into that.
15 MR. CROSS: Colonel Koenigsberg, this is going
16 be summed up in some report that you're going to put
17 together. When do you anticipate publishing that report?
18 COL KOENIGSBERG: The final report on this will
19 not be out for quite some time. Our intent is to put out
20 report on an incident as we finish closing out that
22 When I say closing out, I have to qualify that
23 because I think in most of these we won't be able -- in
24 of them we will not be able to come to a final conclusion.
25 There will still be a door left open that says that if new
1 information becomes available to us we will be able to go
2 back and relook at that particular incident.
3 There's a lot of material that's coming to us
4 in the declassification process. The declassification
5 the important part to us, it's the fact that all this data
6 is being put together, and that we're now getting access
7 into logs and reports that nobody else has ever had a
8 to look at before.
9 And so even on this Al Jubail thing, there are
10 things that will come out to us, and when we will be able
11 close it out to some extent and say, well, look, we've
12 as far as we can in this incident, the things we would
13 to do are not available to us. I mean, there's no soil
14 samples, there's nothing we can go back and get that would
15 give us that final door closure that says, no, this could
16 not have happened.
17 When we get to that point, we will publish it on
18 the Internet and it will come out at that point. And then
19 at the end of our entire investigation, there will be kind
20 of a summing up report which theoretically will go into
21 incidents that we've already checked out, which have
22 appeared on Internet, as well as any additional
23 MR. CROSS: Do you have a time frame?
24 COL KOENIGSBERG: Right now we're looking at
25 probably being around doing this investigation I would
1 assume, until probably June of '97, because a lot of the
2 declassification efforts will not end until the end of
3 December of '96. And so at that point we should have a
4 amount of data that we can review and go back and see if
5 there's something we've missed.
6 MR. TURNER: Have you closed out any
7 investigation, an investigation of any incident that's
8 before you?
9 COL KOENIGSBERG: None of the incidents has been
10 closed out. We are still openly investigating every one
11 them, we're trying to get new information on it.
12 We have closed out one issue that came up. It
13 not an incident, but there was -- it's on Gulfnet already
14 about a theory that one individual had, and we pursued
15 as best we could and in that one we felt there were no
16 doors that needed to be opened, and we did publish that on
17 the Internet.
18 MS. KNOX: Colonel Koenigsberg, you say in your
19 testimony that as you complete each individual
20 you want to publish that on Gulflink. I'd like to give
21 the opportunity to discuss the memo that we received in
22 Antonio from the active duty soldier concerning things
23 may show up in the classified logs as they're
24 things that might relate to chemical and biological
25 Can you talk about that?
1 COL KOENIGSBERG: Well, I think the individual
2 that wrote that is here, and I would prefer maybe to turn
3 over to him and let him do it.
4 MR. WALLER: Thank you. Yes, I'm the author of
5 that particular memo.
6 MR. CROSS: Can you identify yourself fully?
7 MR. WALLER: I am Paul Waller, I'm the staff
8 director of Dr. White's Senior Oversight Panel looking
9 DOD Initiatives on Behalf of Persian Gulf Illnesses. I'm
11 The memo that I wrote -- this was directed to
12 operation of declassification community -- it was based on
13 concerns from Dr. White specifically and from others on
14 panel about what was out there in the operational records.
15 And their concern was that it somehow got out onto the
16 Internet and available to the public before they had been
17 forewarned of the potential sensitivity of that
18 It was not designed, nor has it in fact
19 anything from going through the process and actually being
20 posted on the Internet.
21 We gave some sort of -- I gave some examples in
22 there that I probably shouldn't have, but I did anyhow,
23 the idea was to provide some sort of guidance for the
24 declassifiers that are looking at what turns out to be a
25 mass of documents, some 21 million pages in total having
1 do with Desert Shield and Desert Storm, so as they're
2 through these they can hopefully make a judgement call of,
3 yes, this could appear on the front page of the Washington
4 Post, and this is something we should flag for a possible
6 The intent was to have the investigation team
7 at those reports, perhaps if they're significant enough
8 prepare a summary for the policy-making community in DOD,
9 and then send a report on to be posted onto Gulflink. And
10 that is in fact what has happened in the process up to
11 point in time.
12 Thus far we've posted some 4,500 operational
13 information pages onto the Internet, principally from the
14 Marine Corps, the Air Force and the Joint Chiefs of
15 Of those the declassifiers, the reviewers have identified
16 about 80 that in their judgement were in this category of
17 potential sensitive or bombshell kind of information.
18 investigation team, Colonel Koenigsberg and his people
19 looked at all of those, and none of them in their
20 warranted forwarding to Dr. White or any other official
21 the Department of Defense. In fact, most of them they
22 already knew about, already had under active
23 So that is kind of the background of why we did
24 that particular memorandum and what has happened to it
1 MS. KNOX: So have those 80 incidents already
2 published on the Gulflink?
3 MR. WALLER: Yes, the information has already
4 put out on the Gulflink, yes. The actual delay in the
5 process when they arrived at the investigation team and
6 they appeared on Gulflink has been averaging about three
7 four days.
8 MS. KNOX: Are there any incidents that you're
9 currently looking at that might be sensitive that you've
10 released yet?
11 MR. WALLER: Are there --
12 COL KOENIGSBERG: Absolutely not.
13 MR. CROSS: All right. I'd like to wrap up the
14 testimony from these gentlemen. Thank you.
15 Do you have any closing statements, gentlemen?
16 (No response.)
17 MR. CROSS: Okay. Thank you for your testimony.
18 I'd like to call up Sylvia Copeland and Rich
19 McNally. And if you'd be so kind to introduce yourself
20 tell us what you do.
21 MS. COPELAND: I'm Sylvia Copeland, the CIA
22 Point for Gulf War Illnesses. This --
23 MR. McNALLY: I'm --
24 MS. COPELAND: This -- I'm sorry, go ahead.
25 MR. McNALLY: I'm Rich McNally from SAIC under
1 contract working for Sylvia.
2 MS. COPELAND: Mr. Chairman, members of the CBW
4 We are pleased to appear before you this
5 afternoon. We will cover two issues in our discussion.
6 First I will present a brief overview of
7 role in examining potential chemical and biological
8 exposure. In this I will clarify the contribution of
9 intelligence to this issue, and define the scope of our
10 current study. Second, we will discuss some
11 computer modeling.
12 First, the CIA has long followed Iraq's
13 and biological programs. Prior to the Gulf War we
14 that Iraq had significant CW and BW capability, and it
15 used chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq war. The CIA is
16 currently conducting an independent review of
17 reporting in parallel with the Persian Gulf investigative
18 team. Our study is a detailed investigation into
19 intelligence information, not troop testimony, medical
20 records or operational logs, and our conclusions are our
22 The CIA's effort does not seek to duplicate
23 of DOD; however CIA analysts draw upon and examine DOD
24 information to help clarify intelligence, to obtain
25 and to ensure a thorough and comprehensive intelligence
2 Our study focuses on two activities, research
3 focused investigations. Regarding research, we have
4 reviewed thousands of intelligence documents. In
5 we have documented Iraqi chemical, biological and
6 radiological warfare capabilities at the start of Desert
7 Storm. This is a tedious process, but it's necessary to
8 assure that our study is comprehensive. An investigation
9 then made into each of the key areas, use, exposure and
10 location. And specific areas are examined when possible
11 leads are found.
12 The U.N. Special Commission has been
13 with the U.S. Government in our investigation. UNSCOM's
14 experts have held discussions with our investigators
15 have helped answer many of our questions. We plan to
16 conclude our study and publish an open report later this
17 year. Our object is to provide as much information as
18 possible that could help this panel and others address
20 At this time Mr. Rich McNally will discuss our
21 computer modeling effort. He is the primary government
22 contractor on modeling of chemical and biological agent
23 releases. He will use a bunker at Ad Nazirea storage
24 as a source of CW agent release in his model.
25 It is important to note that this modeling
1 uses many assumptions. The most important assumption is
2 that there were chemical weapons in a bunker that was
3 at Ad Nazirea; however we must emphasize that we currently
4 have no intelligence information on existence of such
5 weapons in the bunkers that were bombed on 17 January
6 MR. McNALLY: The presentation that I have for
7 today has been constructed in two phases. In the first
8 of the presentation I'm going to try to lay out some key
9 elements and general characteristics of the use of
10 and the assumptions, limitations and the benefits that can
11 derive thereof.
12 In the second part of the presentation I'm going
13 to walk through an example, as Sylvia stated, of a
14 theoretical attack on a bunker.
15 Slide please.
16 Very often models are used to help us integrate
17 effects when things get really complicated.
18 As it turns out, the release of a material,
19 hazardous material into the atmosphere is just one of
20 complicated situations that we need to look at. Many
21 in our modeling we're asked to look at situations where
22 there is much uncertainty on what possibly could happen
23 in tracking down ultimately what has happened given an
24 that has occurred.
25 For instance, in specific example of -- I'll
1 through in just a second, the question for this bunker is
2 how much agent should we represent as coming out of it
3 we don't know from intelligence sources that there was
4 agent represented inside the bunker. So we adopt
5 to estimate what possible ranges of things could happen,
6 models allow us to estimate what those ranges and initial
7 conditions are, and look at what the consequences are of
8 different range of initial conditions that are out there.
9 The second issue that really gets to the heart
10 the hazardous material release question is weather, and
11 weather prediction is a very, very complicated and complex
12 phenomenon. Right now, most of the serious weather
13 that's done are done on supercomputers. Supercomputers
14 derived in part to help define some of the weather
15 in use for artillery planning, for instance, so the whole
16 process of going and trying to model the weather, wind
17 fields, the consequences of air density changes and all of
18 those impacts, is at the heart of understanding where the
19 winds are going, and if you understand where the winds are
20 going you've got a much better chance of knowing where a
21 hazardous material is likely to go.
22 The last issue I'd like to raise is that we use
23 models to extrapolate the situations that we can't test
24 the real world. It's very unlikely that we'll ever have
25 situation anywhere in the world that we can test what
1 happens if one metric ton or ten metric tons of sarin in
2 bunker is struck by a large munition and quantitate the
3 downwind hazard. There are very few places in the world
4 that we could do it, and even if we could find a place
5 the world that we felt safe doing it for environmental
6 humanity reasons, the association with whether or not
7 relationships of the wind effects of that particular
8 environment actually are representative for any
9 place in the world where we might be looking.
10 So we oftentimes end up in the business of
11 models to help us understand those things that we really
12 can't test in the real world.
13 We oftentimes will use various stimulants to
14 benchmark our model in attempts to find out how different
15 behave with troops and how we can better improve the
16 relationship. But generally models, especially hazardous
17 release models, are there because we can't run the trials.
18 There are too many things that change from case to case to
19 ever ultimately have run an experiment in which we know
20 precisely the result. Models allow us to do that kind of
22 Next slide, please.
23 I want to talk about several of the key factors
24 that are involved in developing a modeling profile of
25 looking at a hazardous release situation. One of the
1 issues that we have to look at is exactly what kind of
2 material, what kind of hazardous material might there be
3 there? Is it a particular compound or a particular agent?
4 If so, how pure is it, what are the impurities? because
5 they'll affect the physical properties that will determine
6 ultimately what will happen.
7 Even some simple questions, like how much was
8 there, how was it stored when it was there? Both, is it
9 a container or is it in a weapon? Does the weapon have
10 explosive, does the weapon have fuses? All of these
11 come into play to understand what potentially might happen
12 in that bunker when it's struck, and oftentimes are
13 of our knowledge base and take us to the world of
14 establishing plausible ranges of what can happen.
15 One of the other issues that we frequently get
16 into is looking at the release conditions -- no, please
17 on that slide. Stay on that slide. The release
18 what I'm talking about is inside the bunker and the
19 container that has the munition, is there an explosive
20 event? Does liquid agent spill out of the warhead? Is
21 there a small hole in the container where it is leaking?
22 there a small hole where vapor is escaping and liquid
23 being released? Knowing how the agent is coming out of
24 container is a very important element to define the
25 consequences of what's going to happen. Also one of those
1 situations that we have to do parametrically because we
2 don't have video inside of a bunker to look at what's
4 The other element, and I'll talk about it a
5 bit more later, is how the agent might potentially get out
6 of a bunker. A bomb comes into a bunker, does it create a
7 single hole and explode inside the bunker creating,
8 releasing agent from its container creating a high
9 jet of liquid and vapor out that same hole that it came
10 or did it explode inside the shelter, shattering the
11 walls, collapsing the roof? Those different phenomena
12 different ways that we need to represent the release based
13 on what happened.
14 One of the things that this modeling capability
15 tuned to address and focus on is the representation of the
16 weather. Which way the wind's blowing and what kind of
17 atmospheric conditions the material's going to be
18 transported in becomes a central issue for looking at
19 the material is going to go.
20 MR. CROSS: Mr. McNally, I think we understand
21 what we're seeing here. I think what we all want to know
22 is, what happens when it does get up in the atmosphere. I
23 sense there's a lot of what-ifs, and I think we all
24 appreciate that. But, I think the gist of the question
25 if something is in the atmosphere what happens, how far
1 it travel, how soon can it get to you.
2 MR. McNALLY: Okay. Well, let me do just two
3 preliminary slides.
4 Can I have the next slide, please?
5 When it's in the atmosphere, we need to know
6 the winds. This happens to be some of the work that I did
7 while I was in Defense Nuclear Agency in the basement
8 near real-time hazard reporting during Desert Storm. What
9 we were doing there was establishing footprints of
10 hazard path, and we had a real-time weather team there
11 predicting the winds for us. So an initial depiction when
12 we get the, in this case, SCUD warning, it might look like
13 the top graph. As we get more weather information four
14 hours into the process it might look like the middle
15 and the third graph might look like what we might see
16 we finally know what the wind was like during the entire
17 duration the hazard might have been in the air.
18 The important point is that the winds are
19 changing, the weather is changing, it can dramatically
20 affect those kinds of consequences.
21 Next slide, please.
22 The wind direction tells you where it's going to
23 go, the atmospheric stability is the key determinant on
24 far it's going to get downwind. Releases in lapse
25 conditions, the unstable conditions that are typical and
1 under strong sunlit days tends to limit -- tends to limit
2 the spread to the shortest spread possible. The converse
3 that, in nighttime conditions where inversion set in, it's
4 oftentimes that we can see hazard patterns that are
5 hundredfold further downwind than we might see it for the
6 same release in unstable conditions.
7 Neutral conditions, the kind of stability
8 conditions that predominate during dawn, during dusk, or
9 during rain, rain-type conditions is intermediate between
10 the two, so it's about a factor of ten further than we
11 in stable conditions, and a factor of ten shorter than
12 see during lapse conditions.
13 Next slide, please.
14 Okay. Why don't we skip the last two.
15 Okay, the footprint -- no, we don't want to do
16 footprint yet, I'm sorry.
17 Unfortunately these charts are in very fine
18 and you need to get close to look at them.
19 Essentially what we have -- and you can put up
20 -- yeah, okay. Essentially what we've prepared is our
21 latest assessment on what the wind fields happened to be
22 the 17th through 19th of January in the area from Ad
23 south through Hafar al Batin.
24 If you look at each column, essentially going
25 the column what we have represented, the wind vectors at
1 various heights, starting from on the surface, the next
2 being at 500 meters, the next one below that being 1,000
3 meters and the bottom one being two kilometers. Across
4 see the graphs at every two-hour increment.
5 If you notice when it was going by, or you can
6 on the viewgraph represented up above, we've represented
7 wind fields. Not only the direction represented by the
8 the arrow is pointing, but the size of the arrow actually
9 represents what the wind speed was at that particular
10 location in that particular time.
11 One of the very interesting/disturbing
12 observations when we started to look in detail at this
13 weather was the fact that there is a low-level phenomena
14 that at this stage is out in this region. Okay. It will
15 moving east across the area as time goes on. It's what
16 meteorologists call a back door cold front. One of the
17 reasons that that becomes real interesting is it tends
18 cause wind fields that circle around a hot humid
19 mass of air and will tend to keep the mass of air
20 across the screen.
21 One of the issues that often comes up as we
22 through the various reports is winds going in different
23 directions. When you look at some of the surface
24 with the very small wind vectors, those are situations
25 likely to have people very close together seeing the
1 going in different directions. That's a sample that in
2 case, at an upper altitude, you see the magnitude of the
3 winds, in this case, of having increased greatly in
4 above this level, in the 2,300 to 2,700 range we have
5 laminar flow that essentially doesn't change very much.
6 When I talked about atmospheric stability just a
7 little while ago, I was talking about that region of the
8 atmosphere, lots of turbulent activities, lots of real
9 activity within the atmosphere. As things go higher,
10 tend to be less affected by what's happening on the
11 MR. CROSS: Can you wrap this up in about five
12 minutes? because I think we'd like to get in a question
13 answer session.
14 MR. McNALLY: There should be a slide on
15 estimating the amount of agent released.
16 In looking at a bunker case, we started with an
17 estimate based on the size of the bunker and what could
18 actually be stored there, and we looked at a variety of
19 different fills, everything from SCUD warheads through
20 through rocket launcher fills, and that helped us to
21 establish the range of how much mass potentially could be
23 The next step was looking at what could actually
24 happen to the bunker, the issue of where the bomb goes off
25 in the bunker and what kind of frag explosive blast, heat
1 thermal effects and how that's going to affect the
2 There you see that our expected level of release was at
3 2.5 metric ton range with a high estimate of as high as
4 eight metric tons and a low of 100th of a metric ton.
5 When we looked at the consequences on likely
6 storage containers, we also had parametrically
7 what potentially could happen. In this case, we're
8 at something in the range of .005 to a high of five where
9 the value we thought that might potentially be available
10 through release in this nominal case was one metric ton.
11 Next estimate brought us down to how much we
12 actually expect to see leaving the bunker, and our
13 value was at .6 metric tons with a high estimate of four
14 metric tons. And finally we had to get down to the issue
15 how to represent the manner in which the mass left the
16 bunker; was it a large volume of agent that was just
17 released from a smashed bunker, or was it agent released
18 a heated plume that rose to some particular height.
19 In this particular case we represented a heated
20 vertical plume rising to 40 meters above the bunker.
21 Okay. Next slide, please.
22 From this particular release, this is a
23 representation of the hazard footprint that we're looking
24 at. The legend on the right starts at the lethal level.
25 would expect all those people in the red area to not
1 without medical intervention or use of protective
2 The yellow is incapacitation. These would be very sick
3 people. In fact, the majority of them would need
4 respiration if they were going to survive in the
5 situation. They would be vomiting, they would be
6 convulsing, they would be very sick indeed. The green
7 represents visual impairment, and here we're talking about
8 full constriction of the pupils and fixed, their lenses
9 would be fixed so they couldn't focus on items that would
10 close to them. These people would have trouble operating
11 a bright sunlight condition because they would have strong
12 watering of their eyes and strong blinking of their
13 These people would also have trouble at nighttime, their
14 vision would at dusk/dawn conditions would be like
15 And last this threshold, the beginning of effects that we
16 look at.
17 So if you notice on this pattern, threshold goes
18 out to about 70 kilometers. The lethal area that we'd
19 two areas of lethal, the area close in because of not only
20 the initial vapor that was released but the liquid falling
21 back out of the plume; the area downwind caused by primary
22 evaporation during the event as well as secondary
23 evaporation as things happen.
24 Because we represented a release before the
25 to neutral on this particular day, we get a fairly long
1 extensive pattern at nearly the limits of what we might
2 expect for the one metric ton release.
3 On the map that Sylvia is bringing around,
4 essentially how the pattern looks on a scaled map for the
5 region as released from Ad Nazirea.
6 One the bottom quarter you see the Saudi border
7 and on the right side you see the tip of Kuwait.
8 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Just a simple question with
9 this. The hazardous material, is this with any chemical
10 hazardous material we're talking about, this kind of
11 could exist?
12 MR. McNALLY: Well, in this case we're looking
13 the nerve agent sarin specifically.
14 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Sarin, okay.
15 MR. McNALLY: Things change slightly when you
16 change agents because they change the volatility of the
17 evaporation characteristics.
18 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Okay.
19 MR. McNALLY: And we have to worry about the
20 evaporation, the droplet sizes, as well as the primary
21 in a nerve agent. In a chemical agent situation, one of
22 key design elements for the agent is it has a volatility
23 a range that allows you to get out the liquid over an area
24 of interest. And typically these agents have their
25 effects by the vapor that they produce from evaporating.
1 Sarin is the most evaporative, most quickly evaporative of
2 the nerve agents that we've looked at.
3 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: And the amount of time, how
4 can this stay airborne?
5 MR. McNALLY: Depends on the size. Now, at the
6 extreme small end vapor essentially, things that we treat
7 smaller than five microns in size on down to just
8 vapor, these will tend to stay suspended in the air by air
9 currents and they'll go wherever the air goes until one of
10 the agent removal processes will take them out. That
11 be rain, that could be depositing on the soil, filtered
12 by vegetation, agglomerating onto something else in the
13 like soot particles, for instance.
14 As the size goes up, the atmospheric time that
15 stays in the air becomes much smaller. At 100 microns,
16 which is the median size I represented in this heated
17 vertical plume, these agents are going to fall to the
18 inside of several hundred meters.
19 MR. BROWN: Mr. McNally, you did an excellent
20 explaining how complicated this kind of modeling is and
21 many assumptions have to be made, how much more or less
22 uncertain data has to be incorporated into this type of
24 My question is, how sensitive is the types of
25 results you've shown us, the direction of the plume and
1 of the plume and so forth, as to maybe changes in some of
2 those assumptions which are less than perfect in many
3 MR. McNALLY: The sensitivity varies by
4 factors. One of the rules of thumb that we use oftentimes
5 is that if you change the mass that's released by a factor
6 of two, it will change the area in a footprint chart like
7 this on the order of 15 percent.
8 So if I was wrong, for instance, in estimating
9 this one metric ton release and it was really two
10 tons, we would expect the area represented by each of
11 contours to be about 15 percent longer. Now, that
12 good for the entire domain, but it certainly is good
13 order of magnitude kinds of misses in the estimates, and
14 typically run our parametrics up down.
15 Other issues like wind direction depends an
16 lot on the kinds of met conditions that are actually
17 The synoptic situation, what you see on the weather map
18 you see on the TV every night, movements and fronts and
19 will tend to change those local effects.
20 We now are at the state of modeling that we
21 we can do reasonably well. What does reasonably well
22 Neutral stability conditions, we think that the
23 the statistical variability in the wind direction in
24 conditions is about 18 degrees. What that means and what
25 our experience has been, if you go out and you measure 50
1 meters apart at the same time, you'll get about an 18
2 difference in the wind direction from the different
3 measuring sites. If you measured from the same site 15
4 seconds or longer apart, you get that same kind of 18-
5 variability. If you go to inversion conditions, that kind
6 of standard deviation drops to about 10 degrees.
7 So depending on exactly what kind of conditions
8 you're at are going to depend the range of the variability
9 and it's going to tell you where things might point.
10 So if I can just give you a brief example. In
11 this case here, over the three hours where the majority
12 this vapor causes the concentrations and of the threshold
13 effects, we're transitioning from inversion conditions to
14 neutral conditions, what that would mean for wind
15 estimates is, although our model plays variation in what
16 gets, if we were to add the, add the consequences of what
17 degrees range might be, we might expect a pattern to
18 in this kind of event. More likely what's going to happen
19 is the expected value will will out and dominate the
20 of the expected values.
21 But it does for any particular point make a
22 difference. One of the characteristics to understand
23 our current class of models is that they're Gaussian
24 which includes that kind of variability in the spread.
25 They're real good at giving us the amount of area that a
1 hazard might exist, not nearly as good at telling us
2 what dosage might be at any particular point.
3 MR. TURNER: Based on your modeling, Mr.
4 could the coalition bombing of suspected chemical warfare
5 agent storage sites at Ad Nazirea on January 17th, 1991,
6 have caused exposures to U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia?
7 MR. McNALLY: I'm going to have to first lay
8 couple of conditions on my answer, if you don't mind.
9 First off, my modeling assumes there's agent
10 and right now we don't know that there's any agent there.
11 Certainly that influences my answer.
12 This class of modeling for any amount of agent
13 weapons that could fit in that bunker is incapable of
14 generating significant concentrations down as far as the
15 Saudi border.
16 In addition to that fact, one of the things that
17 really concerns us as one of the natural consequences of
18 modeling is to get low concentrations somewhere else there
19 have to be big concentrations and big exposures close to
20 where it's going to be released. That would create large
21 amounts of lethal casualties, even with this one metric
22 result, for instance, inside that red area at the base of
23 the --
24 MR. TURNER: But that's not really part of your
25 model, is it? That's evidence that would confirm what
1 model predicts, isn't it?
2 MR. McNALLY: That's what we would -- it's a
3 natural consequence to the model, and is part of what we
4 look at as the total picture of the application of
5 MR. TURNER: But the answer to the question is
6 that, based on your modeling, it is not plausible that
7 bombing of that site could have caused significant amounts
8 of chemical warfare agent, specifically sarin, to be
9 deposited on U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia; is that correct?
10 MR. McNALLY: Based on my modeling with NUSEA
11 VLS track and D2PC, the series of models that we've used
12 are represented here, we cannot get hazardous material
13 of the Saudi border.
14 MR. TURNER: Now your model also assumes, if I
15 understood you correctly, a heated plume that went 40
16 into the air; is that correct?
17 MR. McNALLY: In this particular representation
18 that's what we've done. We've looked at a variety of
19 releases at different heights and different
20 But the one I've shown you today was of a plume of 40
22 MR. TURNER: And that's for one metric ton of
23 sarin, not a larger quantity.
24 MR. McNALLY: Sarin, yes, sir.
25 MR. TURNER: If there were a larger quantity of
1 sarin at that site, that would extend that footprint,
2 it not?
3 MR. McNALLY: It would in fact extend the
4 footprint. We have looked upwards through our estimate of
5 what can be in the bunker, and my statement earlier about
6 the modeling showing it not getting past Saudi is a
7 of all my modeling.
8 MR. TURNER: You said significant amount of
9 chemical warfare agent. What does that mean, significant
11 MR. McNALLY: Well, significant amount means
12 certainly levels at which we'd see any acute threshold
14 MR. TURNER: So you're using the acute
15 as a significant amount, not a lower level?
16 MR. McNALLY: That we have -- we have also
17 at other light levels. We have looked for instance at
18 levels of the Czech detection equipment, and we do not
19 those levels attainable below the border for masses of
20 material we think could be in the bunker with this model.
21 MR. TURNER: Before and during the Gulf War,
22 McNally, you performed modeling for the Department of
23 Defense and our intelligence community, didn't you, of
24 possible fall-out patterns from bombed Iraqi storage
25 MR. McNALLY: Yes, sir, I was at Defense Nuclear
1 Agency from 6 January to 15 April.
2 MR. TURNER: Now those analyses that you
3 in that time frame, they were not of each specific site
4 was targeted, were they?
5 MR. McNALLY: I was one person in Operations
6 Center. My job was to do parametric assessment of what
7 could happen with bunker releases, so I went through and
8 parametric assessment for a whole variety of bunker sizes,
9 weapons that might be in there and agent fills inside of
10 those weapons across a whole variety of weather
11 Now, I believe that the director of Defense
12 Nuclear Agency at that time was directly working with
13 to apply that technology to understanding what would
14 with bunker strikes.
15 MR. TURNER: So you did not analyze for each
16 specific site on the amount of agent that might be there
17 the other variables that go into making the assessment for
18 that particular site; is that correct?
19 MR. McNALLY: I did not do site-specific work,
21 MR. TURNER: Your post-war analysis has focused
22 An Ayzariyah, hasn't it?
23 MR. McNALLY: That is correct, sir.
24 MR. TURNER: You've not modeled any of the other
1 MR. McNALLY: I have not modeled any site other
2 than An Ayzariyah.
3 MR. CROSS: Do you plan on, in your future work,
4 to model some of the other sites like As Safiyah storage
5 facility and Talialief (ph) Airfield?
6 MR. McNALLY: Those have been suggested, and I'm
7 not the best person to ask. I will do what my customer
8 me, but I think we will be doing those other sites.
9 MS. COPELAND: We will do those other sites.
10 MR. CROSS: Okay, because at this point we're
11 interested in maybe inviting you back to the main
12 with some analysis of those sites.
13 One other question I have, Mr. McNally, I was
14 under the impression that the prevailing winds went
15 predominantly north to southeast, which would mean Baghdad
16 to down across the Kuwaiti theater of operation. If I saw
17 these graphs correctly, it appeared that the prevailing
18 winds actually went the other direction.
19 MR. McNALLY: That is --
20 MR. CROSS: Went from south to north or
21 MR. McNALLY: You have correctly read the
22 One of the phenomena that we had in place was this low-
23 backdoor front passing through. It changed the surface
24 direction for a period of time, on the order of -- I'd
25 to look closely, but on the order of 20 to -- 20 hours or
1 so, during this time frame. So that in this particular
2 region, the wind was not going in the dominant
3 direction, it was going in a direction dominated by
4 frontal system, which was very unusual for this time
5 year, a very unusual consequence. But it did, based on
6 the weather observations and the global modelings inputs
7 that we have to our modeling system, indicate that that
8 local effect did happen and it was not a wind from the
9 normal direction.
10 Now, if you go higher into the atmosphere, above
11 the mixing layer that was dominated by this backdoor front
12 -- for instance, I have plots also as high as 5000 meters
13 the 5000 meter charts show that general laminar flow going
14 west to east, generally in the direction of Baghdad to
16 MS. GWIN: Have you done any modeling that would
17 show what happened to Sarin that was carried to that
18 MR. McNALLY: Yes, I have looked at what happens
19 if it gets out of the mixing layer, in which case -- the
20 diffusion characteristics are different up there, it
21 spread as quickly, it's a different kind of diffusion, but
22 the dominant wind flow and the horizontal structure -- the
23 vertical structure of the atmosphere essentially takes it
24 out into the Gulf and across Iran.
25 MR. CROSS: Essentially, you're saying that if
1 chemicals get up that high, now it's in the upper level
2 phenomenon which has a lower level which is going in the
3 opposite direction, so if something got up that high and
4 traveled some distance, it wouldn't necessarily drop
5 down again because you have a lower level air mass
6 going in the opposite direction, is that --
7 MR. McNALLY: Yes, sir. That happens because
8 the time it gets to that altitude, it's a small size,
9 not going to tend to have much gravitational settling,
10 it's going to stay with its air mass. So it tends to
12 There's a second phenomena that also comes
13 play. At the interface between the turbulent mixing
14 the air of the lower atmosphere and that laminar flow of
15 upper atmosphere, there's an eddy-structure interface that
16 happens. It actually acts as a barrier to typically stop
17 particles smaller than 60 microns from penetrating it very
18 easily or very rapidly. So things on either side of that
19 boundary tend mainly to stay on that side of the boundary.
20 MR. CROSS: Mr. McNally and Ms. Copeland, thank
21 you very much. I'd like to wrap this up.
22 I'd like to take a break and follow up at 2:45.
23 Paul Sullivan from the Georgia Gulf War Veterans will be
24 the podium. Thank you.
25 (A scheduled recess was taken.)
1 MR. CROSS: I'd like to go ahead and get the
2 committee meeting going again.
3 Let me take this time now, I thank everybody's
4 patience and understanding. We have a full slate here, we
5 knew it as a committee going in. I've tried to give
6 time to everybody for their say and again, thank you for
7 your patience.
8 We have with us now Paul Sullivan, and I think
9 we're ready to go forward.
10 NONGOVERNMENTAL INVESTIGATIONS OF
11 POSSIBLE EXPOSURES TO CBW AGENTS
12 MR. SULLIVAN: My name is Paul Sullivan, I'm the
13 Senior Vice President of the Gulf War Veterans of Georgia,
14 Incorporated, and before I begin I wanted to introduce a
15 of our members and officers of the Gulf War Veterans of
16 Georgia. If you'd stand, Ron, Dave, Stan -- all of our
17 members -- just to let you know that we've all taken off
18 work from professional careers to be with you here
19 We're all volunteers doing this. Okay?
20 MR. CROSS: And Paul, let me also say, we have
21 too. We are also private citizens here. We're with you
22 that one. Thank you.
23 MR. SULLIVAN: I'd also -- before I begin, the
24 Georgia Vietnam Veterans Alliance asked that we put their
25 testimony in part of the record, and I'll give that to
1 someone to have it put in the record.
2 Allow me to begin my testimony with a clear-cut
3 medical diagnosis made during the Gulf War by U.S. Army
4 Colonel Michael Dunn, M.D. He wrote in his diagnosis, "I
5 conclude that PFC Fisher's skin injury was caused by
6 exposure to liquid mustard chemical warfare agent." And
7 have heard COL Dunn speak with regard to the diagnosis
8 he made. I also want to note that he spoke about the
9 possibility of other contaminants -- and I'll digress
10 my testimony, but I have his original diagnosis made on
11 battlefield, and he wrote, and I quote, "No other
12 or skin-toxic chemical compound that could reasonably be
13 expected to have been present on the battlefield shows
14 latent period." In other words, he had ruled out other
15 possibilities at the time of his diagnosis. I want to
16 sure that that's a clarification on his comments this
18 Therefore, on behalf of the members of the Gulf
19 War Veterans of Georgia, I want to welcome you all to
20 Atlanta and thank you for this opportunity to discuss
21 chemical warfare agent incidents that took place during
22 Gulf War in 1991. We also want to offer a few suggested
23 policy changes to President Clinton.
24 The Gulf War Veterans of Georgia is a
25 veterans organization founded in 1994 with the number
1 goal of promoting the health and welfare of those who
2 in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Our
3 this morning is to provide evidence to the Presidential
4 Advisory Committee to support our contention that chemical
5 weapons were present on the battlefield and that those
6 weapons caused injury to our soldiers.
7 Our members strongly believe that chemical and
8 biological warfare agent exposure is an essential
9 component -- it's not the only factor, it's a component --
10 toward understanding the illnesses affecting veterans of
11 Gulf War. Based on the evidence, there is no doubt that
12 chemicals were present on the front lines during the Gulf
13 War, and by whatever means those chemicals were released
14 caused subsequent injury to those present.
15 Since August 1994, the Gulf War Veterans of
16 Georgia has sought evidence regarding chemical warfare
17 incidents during Operation Desert Storm. As part of the
18 National Gulf War Resource Center, the Gulf War Veterans
19 Georgia is tasked with the responsibility of procuring and
20 distributing chemical incident reports on the national
21 to the media, to Gulf War veteran groups and to the
22 Presidential Panel.
23 I just want to note for the record that all
24 documents have been given to the panel and that you've had
25 an opportunity to see all 60 pages of the exhibits.
1 Let's start at the beginning. The Department of
2 Defense denies -- and we just heard them -- that any
3 chemical warfare agents were present, let alone used,
4 the Gulf War. On May 25, 1994, William Perry, then-
5 Secretary of Defense, and General John Shalikashvili,
6 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there was
7 information, classified or unclassified, that
8 chemical or biological weapons were used in the
9 Gulf. This is a total, firm and unyielding denial by the
10 Pentagon. And for the record, the Department of Defense
11 refuses to cooperate with Gulf War veteran organizations
12 not releasing all of the relevant documents such as
13 incident reports, even though we have requested them under
14 the Freedom of Information Act. Furthermore, the
15 of Veterans Affairs refuses to cooperate with our
16 investigation by not releasing statistics on the number of
17 deaths caused by the war, especially cancer-related
18 The documents described by Colonel Koenigsberg
19 Colonel Martin have not been made available to the Gulf
20 Veterans of Georgia, even though we have requested them.
21 specifically sent them a letter and offered to cooperate
22 several months ago, and that letter that we sent to
23 Koenigsberg has been given to the committee.
24 The Department of Defense task force has not
25 offered to meet with us, the main Gulf War veteran
1 organization doing research on this issue. Therefore,
2 claims to have done all this outreach -- although is
3 laudable and stuff -- we've been well-known as the
4 group in the country conducting research -- they haven't
5 bothered to call us. We wrote them.
6 Common sense approach. Our view of this issue
7 a common sense approach. Tens of thousands of veterans
8 ill and there are a limited number of possible causes.
9 to the documented presence and use of chemical warfare
10 agents by Iraq, it is our conclusion that some of the
11 illnesses reported by veterans of Desert Storm are
12 attributable to exposure to toxic chemicals used by the
13 Iraqi military. And I want to say some -- not all. This
14 includes not only the well-known chemical warfare agents
15 such as Sarin, Soman, Tabun and mustard gases, but it also
16 includes the intentional use of massive amounts of oilwell
17 fire pollution to poison and otherwise cause injury to
18 American soldiers fighting in the Gulf War.
19 We have seven well-documented examples of
20 incidents during Desert Storm to share with the committee.
21 While there have been denials, there is no official
22 refutation of any of the items described here today.
23 it is important to emphasize the government has not
24 retracted or offered contradictory evidence for the
25 information cited here.
1 First, the most convincing evidence showing
2 American troops were exposed is contained in a memo
3 by Major General Ronald Blank, who is a doctor, and the
4 commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dr. Blank
5 not to our knowledge retracted his sweeping pronouncement
6 regarding low-level chemical exposure. Dr. Blank went to
7 the Persian Gulf area, met with different countries and
8 assessed the battlefield area and he wrote on January 18,
9 quote, "Conclusions: Clearly, chemical warfare agents
10 detected and confirmed at very low levels. Therefore, the
11 presumption of their presence must be made. Of course, it
12 cannot be ruled out that chemical warfare agents could
13 contributed to the illnesses in susceptible individuals."
14 And I want to note that this memo was written before
15 Shalikashvili and Secretary Perry said that there was no
16 information regarding chemical usage. It's a case where
17 left hand is doing something and the right hand is doing
18 other, and they don't know which hand is which. It's
19 thoroughly confusing, even at the highest levels.
20 Second -- our second example -- during Operation
21 Desert Storm, a detailed record of chemical incidents was
22 kept by the U.S. military at central command in Riyadh.
23 January 27, 1995, Lieutenant General Richard Neal
24 declassified and released these previously secret logs
25 showing that there were a lot of chemical incidents during
1 the Gulf War. As I noted before, the Department of
2 simply denies the existence of these incidents, without
3 offering any evidence to substantiate their denials. They
4 offer verbal denials and no substantive documentary
5 In the eleven pages of central command's NBC log
6 -- nuclear, biological and chemical -- there are at least
7 eleven chemical warfare agent incidents, including the
8 discovery of chemical munitions, the exposure and injury
9 troops, and even an attack upon Israel during Desert
10 Here is the entry: January 18, 1991, at 5:00 a.m.,
11 Norman Schwarzkopf's log at central command, quote,
12 police confirmed nerve gas, probably GF." That's a
13 type. Note that it says -- doesn't say "reported," it
14 doesn't say "detected," it doesn't say "suspected." It
15 "confirmed." That's a very high level when you've got a
16 lieutenant colonel we believe, writing this report on
17 of a four-star general. This was not something written
18 chaotic manner, according to the testimony provided
19 by the government witnesses. This is a very deliberate
20 entry into an official record.
21 Jim Turner, when asked about this -- and he
22 at the Pentagon -- he was asked by reporters about our
23 release of this incident -- he said the incident
24 didn't take place. He offered no follow-up report,
25 documentation, nothing. He just simply said it didn't
2 MS. GWIN: Could we confirm just for the record,
3 you're not talking about this Jim Turner.
4 MR. SULLIVAN: With all due respect, James
5 is how we describe the gentleman to your left, my right,
6 is the investigator for the panel -- that's correct.
7 MR. TURNER: I appreciate that, Mr. Sullivan.
8 MR. SULLIVAN: Jim Turner works for the Pentagon
9 -- I'm sorry.
10 Third, you've already seen the videotape and
11 that's mentioned here in our testimony and I don't need to
12 go into that.
13 Fourth, the committee was set to hear, and I
14 to Mike Kowalok, he was -- Bob Wages already spoke, but
15 Major Gus Grant was supposed to testify, and his notarized
16 statement is provided to the committee, where he talks
17 how he catalogued captured Iraqi chemical munitions during
18 the Gulf War.
19 Now, my question is how can an active-duty
20 States Army major catalogue something and then the fine
21 gentlemen behind me with careers in the military say
22 weren't even there? We have a serious discrepancy in
23 testimony there.
24 Our fifth major incident that we want to
25 forward is that Mr. Gary Pitts, who is an attorney in
1 Houston, Texas, has released a 32-page memo dated last
2 to the Presidential Advisory Committee. Do you have that,
3 Mr. Turner?
4 MR. TURNER: Yes, we do.
5 MR. SULLIVAN: Okay. Mr. Pitts represents ill
6 veterans who claim they were exposed to chemical warfare
7 agents. The veterans have filed a lawsuit against
8 manufacturers, most of them in the United States, who
9 allegedly had negligently sold chemical warfare agents
10 and/or technology to the belligerent Iraqi dictator
11 Hussein. In the memo, Mr. Pitts lists quotes by 250 ill
12 veterans who believe they were exposed to chemical
13 during the Gulf War. One dramatic quote is listed up
14 U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Vincent Conway -- and by
15 the way, that is the highest rank you can attain as an
16 enlisted officer -- quote, "We had SCUD missiles fly
17 overhead and break up. Our chemical alarms went off.
18 day of the start of the war, artillery was fired to our
19 right flank, our chemical alarms went off again."
20 two. "One time in a holding area, all 54 chemical
21 went up." That's three. "My unit was about one or two
22 miles down wind of a 300-bunker ammo dump on the Basrah
23 highway." That's in Iraq. "Chemical and biological
24 were in the bunker." That's four separate things that
25 alleging in the statement.
1 Sixth, in a manner similar to the United States
2 central command, the 101st Airborne Division of the
3 States Army also kept a detailed nuclear, biological and
4 chemical incident log. In response to a Freedom of
5 Information Act request, it was released to the Gulf War
6 Veterans of Georgia in July of 1995. The 101st Airborne
7 is replete with numerous chemical warfare agent incidents,
8 including chemical injuries and chemical attacks. And
9 is one just to show that different countries were
10 here we have a French report, the French 6th Division has
11 detected light traces of chemical agent Tabun and Sarin in
12 their tactical assembly area.
13 As a note, we specifically asked for the follow-
14 reports for each of the incidents, and we were denied
15 to the reports. So we have a sense of skepticism from the
16 veterans' point of view, because we say, okay, there's an
17 incident and then the Pentagon says well, we've
18 it and we've looked at the report and it didn't happen.
19 Well, how come we can't see the follow-up report? It just
20 leads to a great deal of skepticism when we ask for it and
21 we don't get it.
22 Seventh, as mentioned before, we had Colonel
23 here describing his diagnosis of PFC David Allen Fisher.
24 Just for the record, Fisher was the recipient of a Purple
25 Heart for his chemical injuries, and we do note for the
1 record that Dr. Dunn did not retract his diagnosis. He
2 there may have been other causes but he did not retract
4 What we want to do here is assist the Pentagon
5 researchers in the different types of chemical exposures.
6 An analysis of chemical incident reports shows a variety
7 the types of exposures. We want to be very clear here,
8 there was no mass gassing and our claims of chemical
9 agent presence should not be misconstrued to reach such a
10 conclusion. Listed below are four general types of
11 warfare agent exposures:
12 The first is direct attack or exposure. We've
13 members of the 24th NMCB speak here this morning regarding
14 that incident, which by the way is also mentioned in
15 Schwarzkopf's log. And this also includes a confirmed
16 agent attack upon Israel, which is also in the NBC log.
17 These are clearly offensive uses of chemicals by the
18 In addition, we want to talk about -- it's
19 offensive when you deploy mines, okay, it's an offensive
20 even though the military strategy is defensive, you don't
21 want someone to come in your territory. But the mere fact
22 that they have been deployed, the chemical agents in the
23 mines, is an offensive use of chemical agents for the
24 description cited here. And what we have is the 1st
25 Battalion 6th marines were exposed to chemical warfare
1 agents when they breached Iraqi chemical minefields on
2 February 24, 1991. According to the official
3 history of the 2nd Marine, Lieutenant Colonel Moskowski --
4 and I'm sorry if I mispronounce it -- wrote, quote, "At
5 approximately 0656 hours, the Fox chemical reconnaissance
6 vehicle at Lane Red-1 detected a trace of mustard gas
7 originally thought to be from a chemical mine." And
8 in the quote, because it's a rather lengthy quote, he
9 that "The chemicals were still sufficiently strong to
10 blistering on the exposed arms of two AAV crewmen." And
11 that was mentioned by the panel staff earlier. This is an
12 official published history in 1993. And again, in 1994,
13 Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
14 Staff said they knew nothing -- and here's a published
15 report. This again leads to more skepticism on the part
16 the veterans.
17 The second type is incidental exposure, and
18 Colonel Dunn has discussed this in detail, and that has
19 do with the soldier going down into the bunker where the
20 Iraqi chemical warfare agents were forward deployed in
21 northern Kuwait and southern Iraq. Just as a point, I
22 the original diagnosis, the soldier was in Kuwait when he
23 went into the bunker, not Iraq, as reported by the
24 Okay? So that's again, further evidence that there were
25 chemical weapons forward deployed and that there may have
1 been additional incidental exposures because one of the
2 requirements of what we did was to go into every bunker
3 clear them to make sure there were no enemy soldiers in
5 The third type -- and we've gone into great
6 on that here today -- is low-level long-range exposure.
7 Again, the Pentagon says that these entries made by
8 Schwarzkopf's aide were made in a chaotic manner in the
9 haste of war. But let me point out for the committee,
10 are two separate entries on two different days describing
11 the same phenomenon. Okay? And leading to a specific
12 event and a specific cause and a specific result. And for
13 the record, it says that on January 20, 1991,
14 Czechoslovakian recon report detected GA and GB -- those
15 chemical warfare agents -- and that hazard is flowing down
16 from factory storage bombed in Iraq. Predictably, this
17 become, is going to become a problem.
18 The next day -- slide nine please -- again,
19 were called who reported trace quantities of specific
20 types -- not just that there's something out there -- but
21 Tabun, Soman and Yperite, which was caused by fallout from
22 bombing of Iraqi chemical warfare storage weapon sites.
23 for the record, General Schwarzkopf in his famous, mother-
24 of-all press conferences on the second to last day of the
25 ground war -- that was I believe the 27th or 28th of
1 February -- he fully admitted and announced that we had
2 targeted and bombed the chemical munitions sites. So
3 should be no debate or denial that the sites mentioned
4 were bombed.
5 Furthermore, chemical fallout from coalition
6 bombing is supported by the written testimony of United
7 States Air Force Colonel Willis Bullard, who told
8 Gary Pitts the following: "When the U.S. Air Force hit
9 Iraqi chemical manufacturing plants, the wind was blowing
10 out of the northwest, directly toward Riyadh." I presume
11 the colonel was in a position to know, and from my
12 point of view, I would rather have someone on the ground
13 tell me what's going on than have some analyst five years
14 later saying well, we think the wind went this way. If
15 someone who was there and on the ground testifies that an
16 event took place, I would say that the burden of
17 him, okay, falls on the Pentagon.
18 Just for the record, I also have the National
19 Geographic publication "Environmental consequences of the
20 Persian Gulf War," and it clearly shows photographs taken
21 throughout the entire war period, and in not one of these
22 photographs is the wind doing anything other than going
23 either the north or from the northwest to either the south
24 or the southeast. For the record, these are satellite
25 pictures that back up what they guy on the ground was
1 saying. So all these made up diagrams on the board may
2 useful for theory, but here's a real picture from a real
3 satellite published in a real book that I have a little
4 more faith in.
5 MR. CROSS: Mr. Sullivan, can we wrap this up in
6 about five more minutes?
7 MR. SULLIVAN: Sure, I'm almost done.
8 We want to add a little bit of controversy to
9 definition of chemical warfare agent exposure. And by
10 we want to list oilwell fire pollution as a chemical
11 agent from the combustion of crude oil and by the pooling
12 oil on the open desert. In a manner unique to soldiers,
13 ate, slept, worked and lived in the open in some cases
14 hundreds of yards from lakes of unburned oil and/or
15 few short kilometers of raging oilwell fires.
16 According to news reports, as many as 700 of
17 oilwells were set ablaze by the defeated, retreating Iraqi
18 army before they left Kuwait. Since Saddam Hussein
19 the destruction of the oilwells as an act of war, the
20 pollutants should now be considered an act of chemical
21 warfare agent usage. Although the coalition did
22 some oil facilities and is partly to blame for the
23 pollution, the overwhelming percentage of the blame must
24 squarely laid upon Saddam Hussein.
25 Most American combat troops left the Persian
1 region by May of 1991. The oilwell pollution was not
2 measured by the U.S. government until May 1991, well
3 the soldiers were redeployed to either America or
4 While the Pentagon studied the United States Army's 11th
5 Armored Cavalry regiment for health effects of oilwell
6 pollution, the study began when the 11th ACR arrived in
7 Kuwait in May and June, well after the end of the war.
8 other words, it's an apples and oranges -- it's a non-
9 and of no value.
10 In many cases, entire units were stationed in
11 Romalia [phonetic] oilfields and we have a quote from a
12 general verifying that.
13 The analogy is clear -- Iraqis poisoned the air
14 and the water in the Gulf region in a deliberate military
15 strategy designed to diminish the fighting capability of
16 coalition forces. In common sense terms, no one would
17 voluntarily stand behind an urban mass transit bus
18 diesel fumes for two months, since we know that a
19 significant percentage of those standing behind the bus
20 going to get sick.
21 Let me close -- may I have slide 11 -- by
22 our advice for President Clinton. President Clinton
23 the formation of the advisory committee in March 1995 to
24 provide him with suggested changes in policy, especially
25 those related to chemical warfare agent incidents during
1 Gulf War. With that in mind, the Gulf War Veterans of
2 Georgia offers a few suggested policy changes.
3 Our first suggestion is that the government
4 chemical and biological warfare agents were present and
5 caused injury during the Gulf War. And I believe with
6 of the discussion here about our inability to detect low
7 levels, the admission of the diagnosis of the solder
8 whatnot, we have made that step and they are now
9 forward and saying there was some low level. We need
10 little firmer admission and a little more widespread
12 Second, the government needs to protect and
13 release chemical and biological incident reports. This
14 free society. If we make a Freedom of Information request
15 on behalf of Gulf veteran groups around the country, we
16 expect a polite response and not an avoidance of the
17 of documents.
18 Our third and final suggestion to the President
19 the United States is to increase funding specifically
20 targeted for veterans who are exposed to chemical and
21 biological agents, oilwell fire pollution, depleted
22 radiation and experimental shots and pills. The
23 has done none of these, despite our requests for the last
24 three years for them to do this.
25 Finally, veterans of the Gulf War are citizens
1 there may be as many as 108,000 of us who may be ill as a
2 result of our service in the Gulf War. As citizens, we
3 a right to know the different types of chemical exposures
4 and to receive prompt, thorough medical treatment for our
5 illnesses related to our service in the Gulf War.
6 Thank you.
7 MR. CROSS: Thank you, Mr. Sullivan.
8 Questions from the panel?
9 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: I have just one of Mr.
10 The seven incidents that you described in your report,
11 you given that information to DOD and the other agencies?
12 MR. SULLIVAN: Yes.
13 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: And what has the response
14 MR. SULLIVAN: As I mentioned in my testimony,
15 either didn't happen -- and in fact, they issued one press
16 release that said that Mr. Sullivan misstates the facts,
17 all we did was quote right off the logs. That's been
18 response. It's been unfortunate, and in a free and open
19 society where we want dialogue it's incumbent upon the
20 government to respond honestly and faithfully. At this
21 point, they only offer denials.
22 DR. CUSTIS: Did you get any definitive reply of
23 any kind at all?
24 MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, sir. We have received
25 replies, and it's in the stack of exhibits that I gave
1 and we were specifically denied by Lieutenant General Neal
2 to receive all of the nuclear, biological and chemical
3 According to his aide -- I'm paraphrasing him -- it would
4 a snowball's chance in you know where of us getting the
5 of the log.
6 For the record, we received eleven pages
7 parts of eleven days of an effort that took several
9 DR. CUSTIS: I had the impression that you used
10 Freedom of Information, but did not receive what you were
12 MR. SULLIVAN: We only got bits and pieces and
13 then when we asked for the follow-up reports, they denied
14 our requests. So we'd get a little bit and then we'd
15 publicize it, the Pentagon would respond by saying we're
16 lying or we're misconstruing the facts, when all we were
17 releasing was what they gave us. And then we would ask
18 follow-up reports, and they would refuse to give them to
19 MR. CROSS: Mr. Sullivan, Dr. Charles Jackson
20 unable to join us today. Could you please tell us a bit
21 about his diagnosis and treatment of Gulf War veterans?
22 MR. SULLIVAN: Dr. Charles Jackson is at the
23 Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tuskegee, Alabama, and
24 has seen a great number of veterans who are ill. I have
25 spoken with him on the telephone on several occasions and
1 has represented to me that he is of the belief, based on
2 evaluation and medical tests, that a significant number of
3 the veterans that he has seen who claim they were exposed,
4 were in fact exposed to some type of chemical agent during
5 the Gulf War. He's done an outstanding job and
6 unfortunately he's going to retire soon. He did say that
7 could go ahead and use the diagnosis that he made of a
8 soldier during the Gulf War -- excuse me, after the Gulf
10 Dr. Jackson has done an outstanding job of
11 to get -- reach out to the veteran community and find out
12 what's wrong and he was, according to what he told me,
13 considerable pressure to retract diagnoses that he had
14 and then to not make any further diagnoses of chemical
15 warfare agent exposure. That's not what we need. If they
16 were exposed to chemicals, we need to get the information
17 out. We don't need people calling and telling him to quit
18 doing what he's doing.
19 MR. TURNER: Mr. Sullivan, if I understand your
20 position correctly, you do not contend, do you, that there
21 was a widespread, direct use, intentional use of chemical
22 warfare agents like mustard or Sarin or other nerve agents
23 against U.S. forces during the Gulf War -- that's not
24 something that your group maintains happened?
25 MR. SULLIVAN: That's correct. We contend there
1 was no mass gassing. We contend that there are specific
2 incidents supported not only by eyewitnesses, but by the
3 official record, that there were specific attacks, --
4 few of them, but they did take place -- there were
5 cases of mines going off, chemical mines and there were
6 specific cases of incidental exposure, and there were
7 specific cases of low level exposure. So we're not
8 that there's any mass gassing.
9 And I just want to make sure that we're clear
10 this concept. We've got multiple exposure types. We've
11 the oilwell fires, we've got low level chemical agents,
12 we've got the experimental shots and pills, we've got
13 depleted uranium. Not only do you have different
14 you have different degrees of the variable and in
15 lengths of time of the variable, and then different
16 combinations of them. You could have one of one and a
17 little of another for differing lengths and different
18 intensities. And this is a very complicated matrix,
19 unfortunately the Pentagon and the Department of
20 Affairs are insistent on looking for this magic silver
21 bullet single cause. And at no time has any of the Gulf
22 veteran groups, to my knowledge, pinned the illnesses on
23 specific thing. It's multiple causes at multiple degrees
24 and for differing lengths of time.
25 MR. RIOS: Mr. Sullivan, on your second
1 suggestion, you suggest that the President issue an
2 Executive Order to protect and then to release chemical
3 biological incident reports. Why did you use the word
5 MR. SULLIVAN: Mr. Rios, that's a very good
6 question and I have given the panel a response from
7 Headquarters, United States Army Forces Command, signed
8 by an Anthony Stapleton, where he sent us a list of NBC
9 locations and the points of contacts for those logs. And
10 some of those it says, quote, "Many routine duty logs,
11 may have included nuclear, biological or chemical entries,
12 were destroyed as a matter of routine prior to
13 redeployment." Furthermore, there's others, like 1st
14 Cavalry Division, United States Army, G3, that's
15 nuclear, biological and chemical records destroyed. Okay?
16 That also leads to a great deal of skepticism
17 among veterans. How can Mr. Koenigsberg and his
18 be doing a thorough job investigating this matter when
19 they're destroying the records?
20 MR. RIOS: So your organization is taking the
21 position that there's the possibility that the government
22 may be presently destroying or might destroy some of
23 reports; is that correct?
24 MR. SULLIVAN: Yes. And I don't want to give
25 aura that there is some type of intention to destroy
1 I would say that some of it is just pure negligence and
2 knowing what they have. A lot of times you get back,
3 here's our log from the war, what do we do with it?
4 it's not worth anything, shred it or throw it away. I
5 believe that there is an intentional effort to destroy the
6 stuff, I want to make sure that the connotation is clear.
7 would be under the impression that most of it is
9 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Are the veterans in your
10 organization -- are they -- I've been hearing that
11 lot of discontent with the current VA system of receiving
12 help and that many of the complaints that the veterans
13 are not being taken seriously by the medical establishment
14 or the medical staff at the VA systems. What's your
15 experience and what are you hearing from veterans in your
17 MR. SULLIVAN: Chronologically, in '92 and '93,
18 we were going to give the Department of Veterans Affairs a
19 report card, it would be F or D-minus all the way down.
20 They didn't know what was going on, they were overwhelmed
21 with a lot of people coming in who were sick, and they
22 didn't have additional funding to take care of this
23 onslaught of new patients coming in.
24 Since our complaints -- and I also strongly
25 believe as a result of your formation and investigation --
1 the Department of Veterans Affairs is giving at the
2 in some places, lip service, and at the maximum in other
3 places, a good strong look at how they're treating Gulf
4 veterans with an eye toward improving it.
5 Overall, for the record, we still believe that
6 there are -- and these are people who talked to me
7 personally and our officers behind me, that they've gone
8 into VA hospitals and been flatly refused to be seen by
9 doctors. Most of the times the doctors aren't aware of
10 priority treatment requirement that Congress has placed
11 the VA. So what we do is we call them up and we educate
12 them as to what's going on and please ask that it not
14 But it's my assumption that, because we're
15 phone calls that the problem still exists. It is getting
16 better -- it was really bad in '92 and '93. It is getting
17 better and there are some VA employees, and one of them is
18 in the room, his name is Bruce Rooney, he's doing an
19 outstanding job going in doing community outreach, going
20 National Guard units, going to Reserve units to find out
21 what's going on. But his behavior and his enthusiasm
22 unfortunately is the exception and not the rule.
23 MR. CROSS: Okay, thank you Mr.
24 I'd like to ask James Tuite to come up.
25 MR. TUITE: I'll start off down here.
1 We were talking about the destruction of
2 earlier -- in just an opening, I've got a response from
3 3rd Army.
4 MR. CROSS: Mr. Tuite, can you introduce
5 and give us a little background synopsis?
6 MR. TUITE: Okay, sure.
7 My name is Jim Tuite, I was the Director of the
8 Senate Banking Committee investigation into this issue.
9 Since that time, I've continued to investigate this
10 Prior to that, I was a science and technology research
11 technology coordinator with the United States Secret
12 Service. I was in the foreign intelligence branch,
13 intelligence officer with them. And I'm a veteran
14 Vietnam. That pretty much gives it in a nutshell. I
15 masters degree from Georgetown in national security
16 and I was working on my doctorate, actually finishing up
17 dissertation in international relations when I was asked
18 start this investigation. I also have a long history of
19 working with both the Office of National Drug Control
20 and the Department of Defense on science and technology
22 During the war the problem was for the
23 and it was a very legitimate problem, how to target Iraqi
24 chemical weapons facilities and deny Iraqi access to the
25 weapons without causing hazardous fallout. That's a
1 problem because we all know that the nuclear blasts of the
2 1950s caused global radioactive fallout, and we all have
3 concerns about the industrial pollution from the Midwest
4 causing acid rain and things like that. So somehow, we
5 to figure out a way to target facilities housing toxins
6 were a thousand times more powerful than the most powerful
7 production pesticides safely and effectively without
8 massive amounts of Iraqis, without hurting our own
9 and at the same time deny Iraq use of the weapons.
10 Prior to the war, both the Army and the Air
11 contracted with the national laboratories to do an
12 assessment regarding the nature and extent of the
13 fallout. Those reports remain classified, but I have been
14 told by some people that they were warned that there were
15 serious concerns about the fallout from those facilities.
16 And that information was obtained from liaison staff at
17 national laboratories when I was up on Capitol Hill.
18 There was also formal expression of Soviet
19 concerns as soon as the air war started. Their
20 weapons experts, including the command of their
21 troops, expressed a very serious concern that the
22 from these facilities would reach sections of the
23 Union and harm Soviet peoples. This is all confirmed in
24 documents and transactions that have since been
25 going back and forth between the Soviet government and the
1 State Department.
2 We also know, based on a 1994 DOD counter-
3 proliferation report, that there's a serious shortfall in
4 our ability to be able to safely target these facilities,
5 and I'll get into that issue at some point as we go
6 So the problem that we face is where were the
7 chemical weapons -- we have the known locations, the
8 that the intelligence entities were able to identify. But
9 prior to the war, they also observed a great deal of
10 transshipment of the chemical weapons from these
11 as observed in some declassified DIA assessments. DIA had
12 assessed that the deployment pattern or the dispersal of
13 these agents was consistent with the deployment pattern
14 during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. So again, attacking
15 this problem, we have to develop a methodology. The
16 methodology was to observe the wartime data and subsequent
17 findings as though it were a scientific experiment.
18 Out at Dugway, if they want to determine whether
19 or not chemical agents reach to a certain distance, they
20 sensors out and then they release some agent or a
21 and they find out how far the agents go. And to a certain
22 degree, we can do this in the Gulf. First, you have to
23 identify the locations of the materials involved, the
24 physical properties of the materials involved, method of
25 destruction, sensor activity and the qualities of the
1 sensors, the meteorological imagery data that you might
2 able to collect, unidentified variables like we don't
3 where all the agents were, animal data and human data.
4 Human data meaning what were the observed illnesses.
5 And so the Department of Defense has been
6 declassifying documents. Now many of these documents
7 since been reclassified, some of them have been
8 and declassified again. But they identified a number of
9 storage facilities, in many cases up to 12-digit
10 coordinates. So we've got a very good idea as to where
11 principal facilities were. These include Mosul airfield,
12 some other airfields, some storage depots and two major
13 facilities at Samara, which was the Iraqis primary
14 weapons research storage and production facility, and
15 Jabania (ph), which had three facilities, also known as
16 Folusia (ph) -- had three production facilities. Both
17 these facilities were targeted on the 17th, as well as a
18 number of others in An Ayzariyah and some other places.
19 Again, the remainder of the list. And as the committee
20 aware, you've got a detailed report on both the locations
21 these facilities and some of the observations and
22 So we targeted approximately 28 facilities. We know that.
23 And we know where those facilities were.
24 We also know something about the agents. We
25 that sulfur mustard has a flash point of 105 degrees
1 Centigrade, which is about the same as number 2 diesel,
2 what I understand. We also know that Tabun and
3 a GF, are somewhere in the range between kerosene and
4 2 diesel.
5 Sarin, on the other hand, is a problem. Sarin
6 doesn't burn. Sarin has similar characteristics in terms
7 evaporation as water. Sarin is mixable with water, Sarin
8 has a cumulative effect, it does not burn. In order to
9 hydrolyze Sarin, you have to heat it in controlled
10 substances -- in controlled environment -- at just below
11 boiling point for two to three hours. Another problem
12 Sarin is that when Sarin mixes with water and its pH is
13 raised, it is much more persistent than it is at its
14 concentrated levels. Sarin, with a pH of 1.8, has a
15 persistency or half-life of 7-1/2 hours, but at a pH of
16 has a half-life of 47 hours, much longer half-life. Now
17 it's in a much more diluted state at that point, but
18 not talking about acute exposures now, we're talking
19 cumulative low-level exposures.
20 So we know that there is problem destroying the
21 agent and I'll tell you again why we know there is a
22 destroying the agent based on some weapons systems that
23 they're trying to develop right now.
24 The DOD estimated downwind threat, and you heard
25 it today, it was about 50 kilometers for one of these
1 facilities assuming that there was one metric ton of
2 chemical agent inside the facility. Now we know that when
3 the U.N. went in, they found hundreds of metric tons at
4 Folusia (phonetic) and the Samara (phonetic) facilities.
5 This is bulk agent, this isn't weapons, these are just
6 agent storage. So we now that much more than that which
7 would cause that 50 kilometer downwind footprint was
9 We also know, based on FM 3-3 -- and by the way,
10 all the physical properties come from Army Field Manual 3-
11 on the physical properties of these agents. We also know,
12 according to Field Manual 3-3 that just hitting a civilian
13 chemical production facility has a hazardous footprint of
14 about ten kilometers.
15 Now the 50-kilometer figure in FM 3-3 is based
16 a single chemical munition blown up at ground level,
17 one-ton munition or -- I think they used 900 kilograms as
18 the standard -- has a down-wind footprint of up to 50
19 kilometers. What is the footprint of blowing up an entire
20 facility that's holding at least dozens of metric tons of
21 these substances? Certainly greater than 50 kilometers.
22 The gentleman from SAIC today acknowledged that if there
23 more agent, it would be a larger footprint. But there
24 no collateral casualties in the area, according to DIA in
25 their declassified reports. This raises the question of
1 where did the agent go.
2 We have this rare phenomenon or this rare
3 in physics called the law of conservation of matter and
4 energy. If something can be changed from state to state;
5 for instance, in the case of some of the agents, as they
6 burn they produce highly toxic byproducts. That's why
7 invested billions of dollars in developing controlled
8 incineration facilities. But the Sarin doesn't do
9 but evaporate.
10 The method of destruction. We've had Air Force
11 pilots report that they used incendiary weapons, but in
12 reports, they say that they used TLAMs or Tomahawks,
13 Tomahawk land attack missiles, submarine or sea-launched
14 cruise missiles were used. Air-to-surface guided
15 65-130 and 142, one of those is the Maverick, there are a
16 bunch of heavy-weight guided missiles. Ground guided bomb
17 units, which were the laser and infrared guided bombs, and
18 again, stand-off land attack missiles were available,
19 according to the DOD counter-force working group, as of
20 1994. What was actually used in 1991 I have no clue, but
21 know that that's what's available now.
22 Any of these munitions using high explosives
23 result in an incendiary effect because of the low flash
24 points of these substances. In other words, if somebody
25 were to send a Maverick missile into your local gas
1 my guess is the gas station probably is going to blow up
2 burn, it's not just going to be dispersed to the four
3 And that's not a guess, that's a fact.
4 DOD is currently trying to develop safe-kill
5 weapons to prevent the fallout inherent in bombing
6 facilities. That's an important point and that is not
7 statement. I want to make it very clear that most of
8 things that I'm telling you today are the position of
9 Department of Defense, not the position of Jim Tuite.
10 In a 1994, again, a counter-proliferation
11 conference held out at Los Alamos, a presentation was
12 regarding these kinds of attacks. The purpose of the
13 presentation was to identify the control of hazardous
14 material dispersal and safe chemical and biological
15 defeat is a highest priority shortfall in operational
16 capabilities and to recommend the development of so-
17 safe-kill weapons that will minimize collateral effects.
18 The counter-force working group labeled the program as a
19 major concern and concluded agent defeat is a unique
20 counter-force objective. No current capability exists,
21 collateral effects are a major concern.
22 So we're spending tens of millions of dollars
23 right now trying to develop prototypes of these new
24 systems that will do, at least according to what we've
25 today, something that can already be done.
1 Again, what we hypothesize -- and I will say why
2 it's more than a hypothesize -- happened, these facilities
3 were hit, the heat from the burning facilities forced the
4 vapors and gases to rise, not to the lower levels but to
5 planetary boundary level into the lower troposphere. Now
6 know this is a real possibility because after the war
7 scientists observed that the smoke from the burning
8 oil fires reached altitudes of up to six to seven
9 in height and went as far as 2000 kilometers down range.
10 Again, as conditions become favorable, and they
11 did talk about that today, we bombed in the early morning
12 hours when the agent was relatively stable, it went to
13 neutral and as it got down over the troops and became less
14 stable, Sarin and some of the other toxic byproducts which
15 have a higher density than air, fell to the surface.
16 So what kind of sensor activity did we have?
17 Well, we had quite a bit. We had ionization alarms, GC
18 spec, ion mobility spectrometry, flame photometry,
19 reaction, biochemical or colonestrase reactivity alarms
20 wet chemistry. And again, these are the various detectors
21 and devices, all using those techniques that were deployed
22 by the French, the British, the Czechs using Russian and
23 Czech equipment, and the United States. And these are
24 with the exception of the ionization alarm -- the
25 of Defense, again according to their manuals considers the
1 M-256, which is our biochemical reactivity kit, a
2 confirmation. So when you look at the Czech, the British
3 and the French alarms, they would all be considered
4 confirmed by our standards in our training manuals, in our
5 field manuals.
6 We also have to look at the satellite data.
7 we have provided to the committee is the exact data sets
8 from NOAA satellites that will show certain phenomena that
9 existed during the period. And I've divided the war up
10 two periods.
11 We also have to look at what is a harmful
12 exposure. Now I have been a chemical hygiene officer and
13 have had to write a chemical hygiene plan before. And we
14 know there's a difference between what will cause
15 symptoms and what can be a problem for somebody. We also
16 know that organophosphate chemicals cause flu-like
17 and rashes, which were widely reported during the air
18 This is the harmful level in a chronic
19 1/10,000th of a milligram per cubic meter and in
20 exposure, gas masks are required. The first alarm
21 go off until you get two orders of magnitude or two and
22 half orders of magnitude higher in exposure. I remind
23 everybody this is a logarithmic, not an arithmetic
24 If it was arithmetic, it would be going up line that
1 By the time the M-8A1 alarm goes off in
2 exposures, you should be in self-contained breathing
3 apparatus. This is how hazardous these agents are. So
4 these soldiers talk about the widespread sounding of M-8A1
5 alarms and then going back and getting the M-256
6 confirmations or the MM-1, which even has a higher
7 than the M-8A1, these are serious exposures to chemical
8 agents -- not in terms of the acute threat of impairing
9 military mission, but in terms of the health of the
10 individual exposed. This data is all from the U.S. Army's
11 material safety data sheets for its personnel at Aberdeen
12 Proving Ground and from Field Manual 3-9, which indicates
13 what the harmful exposures to these substances are, both
14 chronic and acute exposures.
15 Another sensor we had out there -- animal
16 Sudden massive, cross-species and cross-family die-offs
17 not consistent with any naturally-occurring biological
18 veterinary epidemic. But they are consistent with
19 toxicological or chemical agent exposures.
20 The human exposures issues. Again, chronic
21 cumulative exposures to chemical nerve agents and
22 byproducts cause flu-like symptoms, rashes and
23 illnesses similar to those reported by the veterans.
24 up any pesticide and see what it warns you against. The
25 organophosphate pesticides like malathion -- see what it
1 warns you against, what you should look for. It says if
2 see flu-like symptoms and rashes, immediately seek medical
4 PB was effective against Soman or GD, but may
5 made troops more vulnerable to Sarin, GB or VX. That's
6 obviously an important issue because, you know, our troops
7 may have been more sensitive because of taking the
8 pyridostmine. It's also -- this, by the way, comes from a
9 DOD study from back in I believe 1988. It's referenced in
10 the report and it is an animal model study, not a human
11 model study. I want to make that clear because we don't
12 out and expose our troops to Sarin and VX just to find out
13 how the pyridostigmines work.
14 The recently released Jamal (ph) study, which
15 a peer-reviewed, scientific study, shows that 100 percent,
16 or 14 out of 14 of randomly selected sick British vets
17 showed signs of peripheral nervous system damage or
18 disorders similar to those seen in patients exposed to
19 organophosphate poisons; for example, the chemical nerve
21 And then the study done by -- the recent
22 of Dr. Ernovitz (ph) showing the inability of the body of
23 soldiers who are sick to develop antibodies to polio type
24 and type III shows some immunologic anomaly.
25 Again, going back to the satellite data, because
1 I'm not going to show you a cartoon of what might have
2 happened during the Gulf War, I'm going to show you the
3 photographs, what really happened during the Gulf War.
4 again, you guys are welcome to go down to NOAA and I'll
5 the photos and the -- I've got the data, I've got to get
6 processed, but I do have some printouts of the photos for
8 MR. CROSS: Mr. Tuite, can we -- five minutes?
9 MR. TUITE: Yeah, I think I'm there.
10 Again, what we're looking at is detections here.
11 These were detections that occurred in the first seven
12 of the air war. They all involve wet chemistry,
13 reactivity, ionization in biochemical reactivities, ion
14 mobility spectrometry -- they all involve something
15 than the M-8A1 alarm going off. And there is a massive
16 number of detections that occurred in this very short
17 of time.
18 What was the phenomena we saw? Again, no
19 cartoon -- the 18th of January there is a front that's
20 developed right over where the troops are -- and I
21 for not being able to see the ground, but the Sinai is up
22 there, the lakes by Baghdad are up there, the troops are
23 under here. And I -- I'll get you more resolved
24 photographs. That front is there and it stays there on
25 18th, the 19th, the 20th, the 21st, the 23rd. What was
1 happening is there was a low pressure system up north,
2 explains why you were seeing the tails on the ground winds
3 going this way up top, and there was a high pressure
4 over the Indian Ocean which was going clockwise, which was
5 showing the arrows going this way (indicating).
6 Unfortunately, all of the material was being held on the
7 front. Now according to the Air Force Gulf War
8 report, there was low fog which would come and go
9 morning, and the chemical agent detections occurred just
10 the fog cleared. Again, you've got to remember Sarin is
11 mixable with water, about five times heavier than air.
12 as the conditions for evaporation improve, the Sarin
13 to the ground, the alarm go off, the soldiers get flu-
14 symptoms and rashes.
15 Again, during the second phase that we were
16 talking about, you can see the plumes. There is a plume
17 coming down from the lake below Baghdad or next to
18 Again, we're looking at a two-pronged plume right here
19 coming down alongside those lakes by Baghdad. This was in
20 an area where a lot of the chemical weapons facilities
21 Again, you see in this Mediasat satellite
22 photograph, agent coming down from the area up by the
23 and down towards where the troops are.
24 Again, burning debris -- in this case in Kuwait
25 coming down towards the troops.
1 The one single exception we have in all of these
2 photographs -- and there are a total of 42 of them in the
3 final set that I'll get to the committee -- was on the day
4 the ground war started. On that day, the upper
5 debris was going to the west. Every other day during the
6 war, the smoke plumes show that the debris from the
7 bombings, from the visible -- the visible debris from the
8 bombings, and therefore the invisible debris from the
9 bombings, was coming towards our troops.
10 Again, the period 1/17 to the 24th, stationary
11 front over the area were the troops are deployed, marked
12 periods of recurring fog and light rain, many highly
13 reliable chemical warfare agent detections. Period two,
14 January 24th to February 28th, consistent visible
15 atmospheric fallout moving to the south-southeast
16 towards areas occupied by coalition forces.
17 Many of these chemical agent detections you
18 about from Paul Sullivan today, but I was asked to
19 them as well. One of the things that they didn't discuss
20 today was that Mr. Fisher, who got the chemical agent
21 reports that there were materials inside the bunker
22 with skull and crossbones. Well, there were several
23 declassified DIA reports that indicate that that's how
24 marked the chemical weapons. Yet, there's no evidence
25 there were any chemical weapons forward deployed,
1 to the same analysis.
2 Well, somehow this incidental exposure came
3 something that was marked exactly like what should have
4 in those crates, to give him those burns. They were
5 with skulls and crossbones. There are at least -- my
6 is about 15 reports of similar incidences, both in Iraq
7 Kuwait, in this report that you can take a look at,
8 including others where the containers or the weapons were
9 marked with skulls and crossbones.
10 This is something that we need to say, and there
11 were intelligence issues involved during the war -- first
12 all, the 513th MI Brigade was brought in just after the
13 war began as the final arbiter of chemical confirmations.
14 Then we saw that the reports in soldiers' medical records
15 began to be missing from 1992 to 1996. Czech soldiers
16 reportedly intimidated by DIA officials sent to
17 reports of the Czech detections. Board member of
18 supplier of pathogens to Iraq's biological warfare
19 was named to head the Defense advisory board's inquiry.
20 Secretary of the Department of Defense, VA and HHS tell
21 Congress there is no classified information in a
22 written on May 4, 1994. And DOD denied to the committee
23 existence of the SINCOM CCJ-3 X-ray or NBC log. U.S.
24 soldiers were intimidated during our investigation by DOD
25 and Defense science board investigators regarding reported
1 detections. And then DOD ordered the declassification of
2 the non-existent classified information in June of 1994.
3 DIA reported that the Defense science board concealed the
4 massive nature of the bombing of Iraq's chemical warfare
5 agent facilities in the critical January 14 to January
6 period. In fact, they moved some of the bombings that
7 occurred on the 17th to the 1st of February, in their
9 Went up to NSA and there were large gaps in the
10 SIG ENT critic spot and other intelligence reporting,
11 including documents already known to exist by the
12 November of '94.
13 Then the SINCOM NBC log, again a non-existent
14 was declassified, or partially declassified. DOD
15 to declassify the entire document. The DCI refused to
16 in a 60 Minutes presentation that the troops were exposed
17 chemical warfare agents, would only say that there was no
18 evidence of widespread intentional use in March of '95.
19 DOD begins placing formerly classified
20 -- again, the non-existent classified information --
21 regarding this issue on the Internet. The National
22 Council issues press guidance to DOD, VA, HHS, White House
23 and Office of Science and Technology Policy on how to
24 press inquiries on this issue, and DOD issues a "do not
25 release" document regarding detections. Then DOD removed
1 intelligence files from the Internet due to a lack of
2 coordination between DOD and CIA on what information is
3 releasable. Anyone who wanted that information had
4 had it.
5 The bottom line is all of the evidence out
6 points to one observation. The troops were exposed to
7 chemical agents, both in their symptoms, in what happened
8 during the war, in the nature of the detections that
9 occurred, in the death of the animals, in the programs
10 are currently underway to identify and develop new
11 to do what we say we could already do.
12 MR. CROSS: We want to get into questions now
13 because I think we've got a few. Thank you -- lights.
14 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: Mr. Tuite, in the Jamal study
15 you mentioned -- this is an English study where 14 out of
17 MR. TUITE: Yes.
18 MS. TAYLOR: -- persons investigated showed
19 symptoms of peripheral nerve damage. Was there a specific
20 chemical warfare agent identified in that study?
21 MR. TUITE: No. The physician, Dr. Gran Jamal
22 an expert on fatigue syndrome and organophosphate
23 poisoning. All he would say was that the symptoms that he
24 saw in the veterans that he tested were consistent with
25 organophosphate-type exposure similar to what he had seen
1 other kinds of organophosphate poisoning cases.
2 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: And you also mentioned Sarin
3 been one of the principal agents. But the others could
4 been as well?
5 MR. TUITE: Sarin is an unusual problem because
6 Sarin doesn't burn. We would expect most of these
7 when they get hit by a weapon that would cause it to reach
8 its flash point to break down at least into its
9 Now those byproducts are toxic as well, and some of them
10 neuro-toxic, but they're not nearly as toxic as Sarin
11 might be if it were released into the atmosphere sort of
12 freely. And again, you know, the increased half-life,
13 this gets up into the vapor levels of the atmosphere,
14 indicates that it could have gotten very far, especially
15 given the weather conditions and again could have caused
16 likely caused many of those detections.
17 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: And your perception of -- I've
18 heard basically the CIA report that we had previously
19 stating the direction of the wind is different from what
20 you're saying.
21 MR. TUITE: Yes. What I'm saying -- he said
22 he didn't believe that it could have gotten up any further
23 than 40 kilometers, but I've got some handouts which are
24 appendix in the report that I gave you which says that the
25 Defense Nuclear Agency now is very concerned about looking
1 at the movement of these agents in the planetary boundary
2 layer, or above that 50 kilometer or 100 kilometer
3 and they are trying to develop models right now to analyze
4 the dispersion of agents in that layer.
5 The interesting thing is that there's only one
6 other adversary that would have the possible consequence
7 targeting their chemical weapons facilities that Iraq had
8 and that would be the Soviet or Russia, the former Soviet
9 states. The interesting thing about Iraq is that that's
10 pretty much the maximum target where we're going to have
11 control of the air, unrestricted access to bombing the
12 facilities. So if it wasn't as a result of our experience
13 there, if the fallout and the need to examine the fallout
14 those layers aren't as a result of a real lessons learned,
15 if you will, then they're doing this for no reason at all.
16 I mean this is what this is about, we had some serious
18 Now don't get me wrong, I'm not critical of the
19 Department of Defense at all, they had no alternative.
20 alternative was to have the weapons used against the
21 But I am critical in that denying that these low level
22 exposures are hazardous and by denying that when the
23 went off it was real, they have undermined our forces'
24 confidence in their leadership, in their chemical weapons
25 gear, in their chemical weapons detectors and, quite
1 frankly, a whole doctrinal review needs to be conducted
2 because there are problems attendant you that, as I
3 you work in industrial hygiene -- there are serious
4 attendant in chronic or what we would consider
5 level exposures to these substances.
6 MR. RIOS: Let me ask you, you said that there
7 now a priority on behalf of the military to develop safe
8 bombs, is that what you --
9 MR. TUITE: I don't say that, they say that,
10 MR. RIOS: They admitted that there is a
11 in developing safe bombs.
12 MR. TUITE: That will kill these facilities with
13 no collateral effects, yes.
14 MR. RIOS: And that is a priority now, or is a
15 priority that became a priority since the Gulf War, is
17 MR. TUITE: It is a priority of the defense
18 counter-proliferation initiative that began in
19 late 1993 to 1994, yes, since the Gulf War.
20 MR. RIOS: Would it be fair to say that this is
21 priority that has loomed because of the experience of the
22 Gulf War veterans and the problems that they've been
23 complaining about over the past few years?
24 MR. TUITE: There's no question. We spend
25 billions of dollars to develop safe incineration
1 for chemical agents that we no longer want in our
2 stockpiles, and we're spending tens of millions, and
3 ultimately when they go into production probably hundreds
4 millions and billions of dollars to develop these kinds of
5 weapons so that we can safely kill these munitions.
6 no doubt that the threat is real and that what happened or
7 what I suggest happened today happened, because they would
8 not be putting, in an age of limited resources, that much
9 an emphasis on the safe disposal of these munitions. I
10 if it's so safe to blow these things up, then why don't we
11 just put them all in Utah instead of building the
12 incineration facilities, and bomb them?
13 MR. TURNER: If I understand your testimony
14 Mr. Tuite, you're suggesting that whether by incendiaries
15 by conventional high explosive bombing of Iraqi chemical
16 warfare agent storage sites, Sarin in particular was
17 high into the atmosphere and fell over our troops at a
18 date. Is that a fair summary of what your position is?
19 MR. TUITE: It's a fair summary, but it wasn't
20 ejected. It was turned into the vapor state and moved
21 with other vapor like the water vapor in the clouds into
22 that layer of clouds that I showed you in the satellite
23 photograph and then as the ground -- the gentleman
24 morning showed you that during the late night or early
25 morning hours that conditions are very stable for
1 chemical agents. That was the time of day we bombed
2 Then they go into the neutral phase, and then they go
3 the unstable phase. So what you have to calculate is how
4 far could an agent move in the upper atmospheric winds or
5 the upper planetary boundary layer or lower troposphere
6 where would it come down and how much of it would come
7 in a given day or two days, since we know that there were
8 more -- since we know that the half-life as it got mixed
9 with the water would increase.
10 MR. KIDD TURNER: Just so I understand the
11 mechanism for getting the agent from the ground up high,
12 a high explosive bombing, that would be other chemical
13 agents like Soman, Tabun -- the flammable ones would
14 and lift the Sarin higher into the atmosphere, is that --
15 MR. TUITE: Right, it's basically the second
16 of thermodynamics. We all know that hot air rises, we
17 know that steam rises. What happens is the cold air
18 surrounding the hotter air rushes into the bottom and it
19 forms this cone-like effect forcing the gases higher and
20 higher. We see it in nuclear -- you've seen a mushroom
21 cloud from a nuclear blast, or if you've ever seen a
22 blow up and it goes straight up and then out, or if you've
23 ever seen napalm, it causes that same kind of effect, what
24 they call a columnar effect. If you hit a complex very
25 with napalm, it just keeps circling up.
1 MR. TURNER: How far do you think that agents
2 would have been spread through this mechanism? Sarin in
3 particular, can you give us some kind of idea?
4 MR. TUITE: Right now that's hard to tell. All
5 can say based on the information we have is that the
6 data indicates that it at least progressed throughout the
7 area where the troops were deployed. Could it have gone
8 farther than that? Absolutely.
9 MR. TURNER: So you're basing your conclusion
10 it went that far on the alarms and verifications of
11 MR. TUITE: And on the location of the
12 meteorological phenomena. And on the movement of other
13 toxic debris and other pollutants that --
14 MR. TURNER: From the oilwell fires, is that
15 you're saying?
16 MR. TUITE: From the bombings and the oilwell
18 MR. TURNER: Now, you're neither a physician
19 meteorologist. Have you currently consulted with someone
20 are you planning to consult with someone to review the
21 that you've done to date?
22 MR. TUITE: During the committee investigation,
23 got information from the U.S. Air Force environmental --
24 ETAC out in Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. I am now
25 working with a satellite corporation that's going to do
1 collages and evaluate the data for me, yes.
2 MR. TURNER: When do you expect to have that
3 effort at a point where we might want to ask you to share
4 with us?
5 MR. TUITE: Probably within three or four weeks.
6 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: I have one question. I'm just
7 looking and I've looked at this earlier, the material
8 data sheet on Sarin, and the permissible exposure limit
9 .001 milligrams per cubic meter.
10 MR. TUITE: .0001, yes.
11 MS. TAYLOR: Right.
12 MR. TUITE: 1/10,000th of milligram per cubic
14 MS. TAYLOR: Right. So the question I'm asking
15 did we have any detection equipment that could detect
16 at that particular level?
17 MR. TUITE: Oh, absolutely not. In fact, the
18 detectors that we had going off were detecting agent at
19 times that level. And some of the detections that you
20 looking at today would have been 10,000, even 100,000
21 that level. And again, the troops were told, because
22 alarms were all going off, that it wasn't enough to hurt
23 you, don't worry about it, take the batteries out of the
24 alarms. Because our doctrine specifically says that the
25 effects of these chemical agents are acute, immediate and
1 severely debilitating. And they are at militarily
2 significant levels but they're not at levels that will
3 serious physical injury to the individuals exposed.
4 Again, we're looking at two different things
5 we're looking at what might have impaired the military
6 mission in the Persian Gulf War and we're looking at what
7 might have impaired the health of our veterans and their
9 They are two very different issues. They
10 looked at as -- you know, the war wasn't going to go on
11 20 years, they weren't worried about 20-year exposures.
12 problem is that they were getting fairly high exposures
13 an occupational setting and instead of, as they would be
14 required to in an occupational setting, wear the
15 gear, they were told to ignore the alarms.
16 We know that the French exercised fairly decent
17 mop discipline, both because of the quality of their
18 detectors and because they weren't taking the nerve agent
19 pre-treatment pills. And we have very few reports of
20 sickness. Now we don't know whether that's because of the
21 pills or because they exercised mop discipline because
22 weren't taking the pills. But we do know that there are
23 those reports.
24 So, you know, it's a serious -- my concern in
25 issue is not as it relates to veterans, it's as they
1 to the soldiers that are still in uniform, that as we go
2 there and we have this schizophrenic two-fold standard as
3 how we treat what is safe and what isn't safe and what is
4 effective and what isn't effective, we have systematically
5 undermined our troops' confidence in the abilities of
6 commanders to tell them the truth. We need to get
7 that. We also need to try and help the soldiers that are
8 sick now. But my worst case scenario is that the next
9 these alarms go off, they're not going to be chronic
10 they're going to be acute levels, the troops are going to
11 ignore the alarms and they're going to die.
12 They have done, in terms of managing the
13 information, all the wrong things. When those alarms went
14 off, whether they were accidental or not, they should have
15 been in mop gear and they should not have been told to
16 ignore them over time. That was the policy that, you
17 many governments took, and it's interesting that the
18 governments that took -- for instance, the French took
19 policy -- they're not nearly as sick as our soldiers are.
20 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: I have just one more question,
21 I'm sorry.
22 Similar to what happens in a workplace setting,
23 you foresee over the years -- I guess I can probably
24 that myself -- do you foresee over the years that many
25 veterans will become ill as a result of their exposure
1 because it usually happens over a long period of time
2 because it was such a low level?
3 MR. TUITE: Yeah. There are two issues here.
4 only with the chemical agents now, but if you're talking
5 about long-term chronic exposures, you also have to look
6 the problems with the depleted uranium. The radioactive
7 dust takes a long time to start manifesting its symptoms,
8 but it has very similar symptoms. In fact, these toxins
9 said to have radiomimetic effects. I mean, I do see this
10 be a growing problem. Those individuals who happen to be
11 areas where, you know, they may be exposed more than other
12 individuals to other kinds of toxins or where their health
13 isn't -- where they're not just as concerned about their
14 health, I think you're going to see more and more soldiers
15 get sick, soldiers who aren't sick now, or soldiers who
16 managing their illness now.
17 We know of -- we were contacted by many, many
18 soldiers on active duty who were afraid to come forward,
19 we continue to receive reports about pilots who were sick,
20 people in our special operations unit who were sick. This
21 becomes very frightening because it becomes a readiness
22 issue as well.
23 MS. KIDD TAYLOR: What recommendation can the
24 committee make then to the President, since our committee
25 will end in December, of what should be done to assist
1 veterans who may become ill or the ones who are sick now?
2 MR. TUITE: I think, first of all, they need a
3 complete independent, by people like yourselves,
4 hygienists, a bottoms up review of our chemical,
5 warfare defense program. It is designed to combat
6 biological and chemical warfare of the World War II
7 generation, it is not designed to deal with the problems
8 inherent in high tech society and in the modern
9 and with modern chemical and biological warfare tactics.
10 The second issue is they need to admit that
11 is a high degree of probability or likelihood that the
12 troops were exposed in a widespread way to low level
13 chemical agents and that their illnesses may be as a
14 of those exposures, and that there may have been a few
15 limited acute exposures. That's not inconsistent with the
16 no widespread intentional use statement, but it is
17 a very different statement.
18 And then the last thing is just a personal note,
19 is that the whole issue with the children. Unlike most
20 people, if something happens to my child, I've got
21 insurance, and my child can be cared for. Certainly, I'm
22 going to be grief-stricken and emotionally distraught over
23 the fact that my child is not perfect, but you have the
24 issue of soldiers who are on active duty having deformed
25 children born to them. Then, because they're sick, they
1 kicked out of the military for one reason or another, and
2 the children can't get insurance, it's a pre-existing
3 condition. No medical carrier is going to pick them up.
4 Even if the soldier gets a job where he has health care,
5 he's not going to be health care for that child because
6 health care carrier is going to say, this is a
7 illness, we can't afford it.
8 So I think that if the Department of Defense's
9 assertion that there aren't that many of those birth
10 out there, and since we do it in most cases where there's
11 indigency involved with Medicaid, that some provision
12 be made to take care of these children until we can get
13 point where we know what happened during this war. I
14 that, you know, as I said earlier today, the satellite
15 photographs say that the people who were talking to you
16 earlier today weren't telling you the whole story. And
17 plumes say that -- you know, you don't have debris from
18 visible bombings going one way and the debris from the
19 going the other way. And you don't have the absence of
20 collateral -- the footprint that he showed you on where
21 Sarin would have went was right across the Euphrates
22 Now the population in most of these desert countries is
23 clustered along their water sources. We would have
24 out tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of people if that
25 footprint was accurate. We saw the absence of the
2 So the evidence is just overwhelming that we
3 to do something to revise the doctrine, to take this
4 seriously, to not let the people who investigated it
5 the war investigate it now, and to take care of the
6 who have been affected by it until we can resolve the
8 MR. BROWN: I just have a quick question or
9 It seems as I read your testimony that part of your basis
10 for saying that there was exposure of U.S. troops is that
11 the symptoms that some of our troops showed then and I
12 today are consistent with low level exposure to
13 organophosphorus agents.
14 MR. TUITE: Uh-huh.
15 MR. BROWN: And I'm wondering if you could
16 us with some of the references that make that connection.
17 It struck me that rashes and flu-like symptoms are not the
18 classic symptoms from OP poisoning. We heard from some of
19 the other people testifying about what happened when they
20 were exposed to high levels of organophosphorus agents,
21 so we're wondering about the low level issue and how you
22 make that connection.
23 MR. TUITE: I actually have a farm in southern
24 Virginia and there's an agricultural extension office down
25 there, and they pass out little flyers from the various
1 manufacturers and I recently got one from Rhone-Poulenc,
2 which is a manufacturer of agricultural pesticides and
3 there it shows even the pictures of -- you know, sort
4 safety pictures, the drawings. And it talks about if
5 experience rashes or flu-like symptoms, immediately
6 medical assistance. And I will get you the flyers or
7 can contact Rhone-Poulenc and ask them what their
8 basis for that is.
9 MR. BROWN: But I assume that would be an
10 effect, an immediate effect from poisoning, not
11 that would necessarily appear --
12 MR. TUITE: No, it's not a classic acute affect
13 it is an acute affect; yes, you're right. But it is not
14 myosis, the runny nose, it is not the -- it's the result
15 exposure over time, not a point exposure.
16 The other thing I didn't point out about the
17 detector capabilities is that the detector capabilities
18 detections of certain levels over a very short period
19 ranging from 30 seconds to 16 to 19 minutes. That
20 1/10,000th of a milligram per cubic meter number that we
21 were looking at was an eight-hour total weight average.
22 there's a very -- I mean it would be -- I tried to do this
23 on an arithmetic curve and you just couldn't show the data
24 that you needed to show because the harmful level was just
25 down at zero and then, you know, you just couldn't show
1 you were trying to show and it was off the chart.
2 MR. BROWN: Just one other quick question --
3 MR. TUITE: I'm sorry -- but there's also
4 literature on organophosphate induced delayed neuropathy
5 that --
6 MR. BROWN: I know, I've seen that literature,
7 it's not at low levels, as far as I know, but you can --
8 MR. TUITE: It's occupational levels.
9 MR. BROWN: -- point us to that.
10 MR. TUITE: Yes.
11 MR. BROWN: The other question I have is the
12 question basically that I asked Mr. McNally, you know,
13 kind of atmospheric modelings are based on a lot of
14 assumptions and a lot of situations where you don't know
15 exact answer to the data. How important is the issue that
16 the lack of flammability, the lack of burnability of Sarin
17 to your modeling?
18 The reason I asked is I was kind of curious
19 that. I've looked at the Chem-D-Mil program before and
20 seen -- it seems to me if you look at other sources,
21 occupational safety and health data, a couple of National
22 Academy studies that look at our domestic program to get
23 of chemical weapons, that Sarin is not -- I haven't seen
24 that effect listed. In fact, Sarin, is listed as being
25 flammable, a flammable agent. So I'm just wondering how
1 important that would be.
2 MR. TUITE: Sarin is hydrolyzed by heating it at
3 150 degrees, which is just --
4 MR. BROWN: So we're talking about incineration,
5 not hydrolyzation.
6 MR. TUITE: No, I understand that. You're
7 about Chem-D-Mil too, aren't you?
8 MR. BROWN: Uh-huh.
9 MR. TUITE: In Chem-D-Mil, they hydrolyze it by
10 heating it at just below its boiling point and at that
11 it dissolves into polymers and hydrofluoric acid.
12 MR. BROWN: When it combusts, it turns into --
13 that would be true if you were trying to hydrolyze it, but
14 the Chem-D-Mil program is an incineration based program,
15 it's not a hydrolysis based program.
16 I guess my real question is how sensitive is
17 model to that -- if it turned out Sarin burned pretty
18 would that change your --
19 MR. TUITE: Well, again, the military data from
20 3-9 and from other books that I've looked at on this issue
21 indicate that it doesn't burn. Now it might incinerate at
22 2000 degrees. Certainly there's probably a level to which
23 you can say that water might incinerate, but for practical
24 purposes being burned in the open, I don't know of any
25 incineration program where they're suggesting that we
1 take our chemical weapons, put them out in the field out
2 Dugway and set a match to them. And certainly --
3 MR. BROWN: No, but --
4 MR. TUITE: I'm serious, if you're looking at
5 was detected, we were looking at nerve agents being
6 detected. If we're looking at how they were being
7 destroyed, they were being destroyed by high explosives.
8 Explosion is just a rapid ignition of material, which
9 it's rapid combustion, whether it's a high -- low
10 is rapid combustion, high explosion is very rapid
11 that's strong enough to cause shock waves.
12 MR. BROWN: But my point is it would combust
13 certain conditions. You mentioned 2000 degrees, I imagine
14 it would probably get to 2000 degrees inside of a bunker.
15 mean, just as an example, in an OSHA MSDS for this
16 they talk about -- they say specifically that it may burn
17 but does not ignite readily. But that containers may
18 explode in the heat of fire. My question just really is
19 important is that issue in your overall model? Is it
20 to change it tremendously --
21 MR. TUITE: You mean if it burns at very high
22 temperatures? No.
23 MR. BROWN: If it burns at temperatures inside
24 a bunker, for instance, where --
25 MR. TUITE: Well, what kind of temperatures are
1 you looking at? Are you looking at -- I mean, this is
2 significant. If you're looking at flames, 400-500
3 does it burn?
4 MR. BROWN: Yeah, I think the answer is it
5 probably does. I'm just wondering if --
6 MR. TUITE: I think the answer is it probably
8 MR. BROWN: Okay, we can talk about that later.
9 MR. TUITE: I mean, it doesn't -- did you have
10 data on what temperature it burns?
11 MR. BROWN: Not specific temperatures, no.
12 MR. TUITE: It doesn't even say it does burn, it
13 says it may burn, right?
14 MR. BROWN: But it also says it explodes in
15 So I mean --
16 MR. TUITE: Well again, if you were to heat up
17 bunker and this thing exploded and you've already got the
18 heat there, what's going to happen to the vapor if it
19 doesn't readily burn?
20 MR. BROWN: My question is just this, how
21 important is that feature to your overall model? Is it
22 crucial that it not burn for your model to --
23 MR. TUITE: No. I mean if you're saying that
24 stuff in container -- in a container would burn, all
25 doing is heating the substance up, it's changing from the
1 liquid to the vapor state and it's being pushed up by the
2 flames anyway. I mean, you're not getting the full
3 incineration as you --
4 MR. BROWN: Thank you very much. That's all.
5 MR. CROSS: Mark, your technical mind is getting
6 out of control. I know it's late. Let me reel it back
7 My point that I'm walking away from this is if
8 bomb something, it's going to create a smoke cloud and
9 you showed me, smoke clouds were drifting southeast --
10 MR. TUITE: Right to the troops.
11 MR. CROSS: -- across troop concentrations.
12 from what burned at what level or what temperature, that
13 the important thing I think we need to get away from this.
14 What I'd like to do is wrap up our meeting for
15 today. It is getting late, some of us have planes to
16 back onto.
17 But again, I want to thank everybody who was
18 I know some people couldn't stay to the end but thank all
19 you that were able to last throughout the day. Once
20 the term Southern Hospitality holds true, I think the