MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Vietnam’

McCain and the POW Cover-Up

Posted by M. C. on September 1, 2021

The people and equipment we left behind in the Graveyard of Empires is trivial in scale to what the military-industrial-congessional-bankster complex did after the last major war failure.

They Were Expendable is more than a movie title. It is the government’$ attitude toward $oldier$, citizen$, you and me.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/mccain-and-the-pow-cover-up/

Sydney Schanberg

July 1, 2010

Eighteen months ago, TAC publisher Ron Unz discovered an astonishing account of the role the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, had played in suppressing information about what happened to American soldiers missing in action in Vietnam. Below, we present in full Sydney Schanberg’s explosive story.

* * *

John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.

Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain’s role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain’s military service the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn’t talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.

The sum of the secrets McCain has sought to hide is not small. There exists a telling mass of official documents, radio intercepts, witness depositions, satellite photos of rescue symbols that pilots were trained to use, electronic messages from the ground containing the individual code numbers given to airmen, a rescue mission by a special forces unit that was aborted twice by Washington—and even sworn testimony by two Defense secretaries that “men were left behind.” This imposing body of evidence suggests that a large number—the documents indicate probably hundreds—of the U.S. prisoners held by Vietnam were not returned when the peace treaty was signed in January 1973 and Hanoi released 591 men, among them Navy combat pilot John S. McCain.

Mass of Evidence

The Pentagon had been withholding significant information from POW families for years. What’s more, the Pentagon’s POW/MIA operation had been publicly shamed by internal whistleblowers and POW families for holding back documents as part of a policy of “debunking” POW intelligence even when the information was obviously credible.

The pressure from the families and Vietnam veterans finally forced the creation, in late 1991, of a Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. The chairman was John Kerry. McCain, as a former POW, was its most pivotal member. In the end, the committee became part of the debunking machine.

One of the sharpest critics of the Pentagon’s performance was an insider, Air Force Lt. Gen. Eugene Tighe, who headed the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) during the 1970s. He openly challenged the Pentagon’s position that no live prisoners existed, saying that the evidence proved otherwise. McCain was a bitter opponent of Tighe, who was eventually pushed into retirement.

Included in the evidence that McCain and his government allies suppressed or sought to discredit is a transcript of a senior North Vietnamese general’s briefing of the Hanoi politburo, discovered in Soviet archives by an American scholar in 1993. The briefing took place only four months before the 1973 peace accords. The general, Tran Van Quang, told the politburo members that Hanoi was holding 1,205 American prisoners but would keep many of them at war’s end as leverage to ensure getting war reparations from Washington.

Throughout the Paris negotiations, the North Vietnamese tied the prisoner issue tightly to the issue of reparations. They were adamant in refusing to deal with them separately. Finally, in a Feb. 2, 1973 formal letter to Hanoi’s premier, Pham Van Dong, Nixon pledged $3.25 billion in “postwar reconstruction” aid “without any political conditions.” But he also attached to the letter a codicil that said the aid would be implemented by each party “in accordance with its own constitutional provisions.” That meant Congress would have to approve the appropriation, and Nixon and Kissinger knew well that Congress was in no mood to do so. The North Vietnamese, whether or not they immediately understood the double-talk in the letter, remained skeptical about the reparations promise being honored—and it never was. Hanoi thus appears to have held back prisoners—just as it had done when the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and withdrew their forces from Vietnam. In that case, France paid ransoms for prisoners and brought them home.

In a private briefing in 1992, high-level CIA officials told me that as the years passed and the ransom never came, it became more and more difficult for either government to admit that it knew from the start about the unacknowledged prisoners. Those prisoners had not only become useless as bargaining chips but also posed a risk to Hanoi’s desire to be accepted into the international community. The CIA officials said their intelligence indicated strongly that the remaining men—those who had not died from illness or hard labor or torture—were eventually executed.

My own research, detailed below, has convinced me that it is not likely that more than a few—if any—are alive in captivity today. (That CIA briefing at the Agency’s Langley, Virginia, headquarters was conducted “off the record,” but because the evidence from my own reporting since then has brought me to the same conclusion, I felt there was no longer any point in not writing about the meeting.)

For many reasons, including the absence of a political constituency for the missing men other than their families and some veterans’ groups, very few Americans are aware of the POW story and of McCain’s role in keeping it out of public view and denying the existence of abandoned POWs. That is because McCain has hardly been alone in his campaign to hide the scandal.

The Arizona senator, now the Republican candidate for president, has actually been following the lead of every White House since Richard Nixon’s, and thus of every CIA director, Pentagon chief, and national security adviser, not to mention Dick Cheney, who was George H.W. Bush’s Defense secretary. Their biggest accomplice has been an indolent press, particularly in Washington.

McCain’s Role

See the rest here

Sydney Schanberg has been a journalist for nearly 50 years. The 1984 movie “The Killing Fields,” which won several Academy Awards, was based on his book The Death and Life of Dith Pran. In 1975, Schanberg was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting “at great risk.” He is also the recipient of two George Polk awards, two Overseas Press Club awards, and the Sigma Delta Chi prize for distinguished journalism. His latest book is Beyond the Killing Fields(www.beyondthekillingfields.com). This piece is reprinted with permission from The Nation Institute.

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Iraq Needs an Independent Government, Not ‘Training’ – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 9, 2021

‘Training’ is a bad joke. Iraq has been at almost constant war since 1980. Iraqis need loyalty, pride and patriotism to be effective fighters. Who needs training from the armed forces that got whipped in Vietnam and now Afghanistan? Iraq needs a real national government rather than a bunch of corrupt stooges and foreign agents in Baghdad. President Saddam Hussein predicted that the US would face the ‘mother of all battles’ in Iraq. He was right.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/08/eric-margolis/iraq-needs-an-independent-government-not-training/

By Eric S. Margolis

Will US occupation troops really leave Iraq? That’s the question that Washington is so far unable to answer. The White House says the official date of the long goodbye is this month, August 2021.

Donald Trump announced a pullout of US troops while still in office but his deadline was simply ignored by the new Biden administration which has also been under mounting pressure to end the two-decade US occupation of Mesopotamia. Left wing Democrats wanted a full end to the war the US has waged since 2003. Right-wing Republicans, blissfully unaware of Mideast realities, urged more troops be sent to Iraq.

After losing some 4,431 troops and 8,000 mercenaries (aka ‘contractors’) and 1,145 troops from allied nations dragooned into the Iraq conflict, and 31,994 wounded – many with serious head wounds from roadside bombs – Washington switched gears in Iraq and adopted the old British Imperial system of colonial rule.

The Britain Empire created Iraq in the 1920’s from the wreckage of the dying Ottoman Empire to secure possession of Mesopotamia’s abundant oil. At the time, the mighty Royal Navy was converting from coal to oil. Iraq became Britain’s vast fuel depot.

A new figurehead king from the Hashemite tribes was put into power by London, backed by a local constabulary, British garrison troops and, most effectively, the Royal Air Force.

In the 1920’s, Winston Churchill approved RAF fighters to bomb restive Arab and Kurdish tribes with mustard gas and poisonous Yperite. The British eventually crushed domestic resistance in Iraq while shamelessly denouncing fascist Italy for also using poison gas against Libyan nationalist rebels.

The RAF bombed and staffed rebellious Iraqis right up to the late 1940’s. British air power played a key role in crushing the nationalist uprising in Iraq by Rashid Ali, who was smeared a pro-fascist by Britain’s imperial press.

The US eventually adopted the low-cost British colonial system for ruling Iraq. US warplanes were stationed at up to six former Iraqi airbases, becoming the principal enforcer of the occupation. US troops were thinned out. By 2020, this job was done so skillfully that the US presence in Iraq became almost invisible.

Iraq was occupied by western forces but it looked like an independent nation with a US-installed president and executive branch. Kurdish areas in the north became virtual US-run mini-states. The demented ISIS movement was totally stamped out by US airpower and Iranian militias. As a thank you, the Iranian military supremo in Iraq, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, was ordered murdered by President Trump after being lured to Iraq for supposed peace talks.

Iraq was one of the most advanced states in the Arab world and a US ally – before 1991. Today, it lies in ruins, smashed to pieces by US airpower, civil wars, and sectarian conflict.

President George W. Bush was convinced by militarists, notably Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, after intense pressure from pro-Israel groups in the US and their media accomplices, to invade Iraq. The Washington hawks planned to use US-occupied Iraq as a central base for dominating the entire Mideast and grabbing its oil.

The golden victory in Iraq promised by the neocons turned to ashes, leaving Washington stuck deep in an ungovernable ruined nation that had even to import oil. At one point, the off-the-rails neocons in Washington even claimed Iraq had a fleet of ships in the Atlantic Ocean carrying ‘killer’ drones that were about to attack sleeping America.

Iraq was so battered and demolished after three decades of bombing and wars that it was worth almost nothing. Faced by the threat of more guerilla warfare, the new older, wiser US administration of Joe Biden announced it would pull all remaining US combat troops from Iraq, but leaving 2,500 behind for ‘training’ and embassy security (the heavily fortified US Baghdad Embassy is one of the biggest in the world). Osama bin Laden called the US embassies in Baghdad and Kabul, ‘modern crusader castles.’

‘Training’ is a bad joke. Iraq has been at almost constant war since 1980. Iraqis need loyalty, pride and patriotism to be effective fighters. Who needs training from the armed forces that got whipped in Vietnam and now Afghanistan? Iraq needs a real national government rather than a bunch of corrupt stooges and foreign agents in Baghdad. President Saddam Hussein predicted that the US would face the ‘mother of all battles’ in Iraq. He was right.

Eric S. Margolis [send him mail] is the author of War at the Top of the World and the new book, American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World. See his website.

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The VMI Controversy – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 22, 2021

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/02/jacob-hornberger/the-vmi-controversy/

By Jacob G. Hornberger

The Future of Freedom Foundation

Last year, the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Lexington, Virginia, came under scrutiny for alleged acts of racial discrimination against black members of the corps of cadets. The controversy began with an article in the Washington Post, which was followed by a call by the governor of Virginia for an official state investigation into racism at VMI. Under pressure, VMI’s superintendent, who is equivalent to a college president, resigned and was replaced by a temporary superintendent, who is black. Pending the outcome of the state’s investigation, the school removed a statue of Confederate hero Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson from the parade ground in front of barracks, where it had stood for many decades.

The controversy raises interesting questions regarding independence, discrimination, state financial support of colleges and universities, and the concept of freedom. The controversy has particular interest for me because I graduated from VMI in 1972.

One of the things that surprised me when I got to VMI was how important the Civil War was to many of the students, especially those from Virginia. They knew all about the war. And having had stories about the war passed on from one generation to the next, they were deeply passionate about it. One of the most popular classes at VMI was a two-semester course on the Civil War in the history department.

VMI is an unusual place. Today, almost 50 years after I graduated, I still have mixed feelings about the school. I received a great liberal arts education, for which I am still very grateful. It enabled me to get into University of Texas law school, one of the best in the country.

VMI also taught me the importance of honor, for which I shall always be grateful. VMI arguably has the strictest student honor code in the country. It’s run entirely by the cadet corps. We elected the members of the honor court, and they had the full authority to accuse cadets of honor violations, put them on trial, and evict them from the school. From the very first day I arrived at VMI and continually thereafter, it was emphasized that no cadet would lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who did. The honor code is a centerpiece of life at the Institute.

It was the military side of VMI about which I still have misgivings. Of course, that was several years before I discovered libertarianism, a philosophy based on individualism, liberty, free markets, and limited government, all of which are opposite to the highly regimented, controlled, and regulated way of life that comes with a military structure.

Whenever people ask me about my four years at VMI, I tell them that I learned what it’s like to live in a harsh socialist and totalitarian system. That type of education, ironically, is invaluable for a libertarian because it actually helps to inculcate a deep love and passion for liberty. At VMI, we were awakened and put to bed at set hours. We assembled in military form for all meals and then marched to the mess hall, singing cadence songs in the process. Daily life was strictly regulated, monitored, and controlled. We all were required to wear uniforms, even when we went into Lexington, the small town in which VMI is located. We were not permitted to have cars before our senior year. We had a Marine Corps superintendent who apparently believed that cadet life should be modeled after boot camp at Paris Island. Justice by the VMI administration, if you can call it that, was usually arbitrary and capricious.

I survived VMI’s harsh military environment, but I wasn’t enamored with it. Many cadets responded positively to the highly regimented and controlled environment and even ended up making the military their career. Others were like me — grateful for the education but all too ready to escape the military environment upon graduation.

Transforming VMI

Founded in 1839, VMI’s mission is to educate and train “citizen-soldiers,” men who will graduate and return to civilian life but who are trained in warfare and are expected to come voluntarily to the assistance of their country in times of peril. It is, of course, a mission that is entirely consistent with the libertarian philosophy and also with the limited-government, anti–standing-army system on which the United States was founded and that remained in existence until after World War II, when the federal government was converted into an all-powerful national-security state consisting of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA.

When I was at VMI, the Vietnam War was in full swing and I fully expected to be sent there. Luckily, the war was winding down by the time I graduated and so I ended up spending eight years in the Reserves as an infantry officer. During my four years at VMI, the VMI administration aligned itself with the U.S. national-security establishment and its intervention in Vietnam. Thus, when an increasing number of cadets began turning against the war in 1969–1971, including me, administration officials frowned upon us as being “unpatriotic.”

Today there is a plaque on barracks listing VMI cadets who “died in service to the nation” in Vietnam from 1961 to 1975. That’s standard Pentagon-CIA propaganda. The truth is that the more than 58,00 U.S. soldiers who died in Vietnam, many of whom were conscripted (i.e., forced to “serve”), died serving their government, not their nation. Or to put it another way, they died for nothing.

There is another plaque on barracks that states that VMI cadets died in the 2003 war in Iraq as part of the U.S. government’s “global war on terror.” That’s sheer nonsense too. The truth is that the U.S. government’s war on Iraq, a Third World nation that never invaded the United States, was an unprovoked war of aggression, a type of war that was declared a war crime at Nuremberg.

Moreover, the concept of a “global war on terror” itself is nonsensical and has proven more destructive to the liberties and well-being of our nation than even the national-security establishment’s Cold War “global war on communism.”

It is unfortunate that the VMI administration still does not understand these basic truths about what former General and President Dwight Eisenhower called the “military-industrial complex” and its policy of foreign wars, foreign interventions, and an empire of foreign military bases.

See the rest here

This article will appear in the April 2021 edition of Future of Freedom.

Jacob Hornberger [send him mail] is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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More Dying for Nothing in Iraq – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on March 14, 2020

That’s how this entire sordid process has turned into a perpetual “war on terrorism,” one that sacrifices U.S. soldiers for nothing and, in the process, ends up destroying our rights and liberties here at home in the name of keeping us “safe” from the enemies that the Pentagon (and the CIA) are producing over there.

https://www.fff.org/2020/03/13/more-dying-for-nothing-in-iraq/

by

Two more U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq. Yes, that Iraq — the Iraq that never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so — the Iraq that the U.S. government invaded and has occupied for umpteen years under the rubric of “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

What did those two soldiers die for? They died for the same thing that 58,000 U.S. soldiers died for in Vietnam — nothing.

They certainly didn’t die for freedom. Just as the North Vietnamese were never threatening the freedom of the American people, neither is anyone in Iraq, including ISIS, the group that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq brought into existence.

The Pentagon announced that it has retaliated for the killings by bombing an “Iranian-backed militia” that the Pentagon is “confident” was responsible for the killing.

And then what? Then that Iranian-backed militia retaliates by killing more U.S. soldiers, which then motivates the Pentagon to retaliate again, which causes the Iranian-backed militia to retaliate again.

That’s how this entire sordid process has turned into a perpetual “war on terrorism,” one that sacrifices U.S. soldiers for nothing and, in the process, ends up destroying our rights and liberties here at home in the name of keeping us “safe” from the enemies that the Pentagon (and the CIA) are producing over there.

What business do U.S. soldiers have in Iraq? No business at all. The longer they are kept there, the greater the chance that more of them will be dying for nothing.

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Trump Names America First, Fascist Warmonger John Bolton ...

 

 

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More Dying for Nothing in Iraq – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on March 14, 2020

What did those two soldiers die for? They died for the same thing that 58,000 U.S. soldiers died for in Vietnam — nothing.

https://www.fff.org/2020/03/13/more-dying-for-nothing-in-iraq/

by

Two more U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq. Yes, that Iraq — the Iraq that never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so — the Iraq that the U.S. government invaded and has occupied for umpteen years under the rubric of “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

What did those two soldiers die for? They died for the same thing that 58,000 U.S. soldiers died for in Vietnam — nothing.

They certainly didn’t die for freedom. Just as the North Vietnamese were never threatening the freedom of the American people, neither is anyone in Iraq, including ISIS, the group that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq brought into existence.

The Pentagon announced that it has retaliated for the killings by bombing an “Iranian-backed militia” that the Pentagon is “confident” was responsible for the killing.

And then what? Then that Iranian-backed militia retaliates by killing more U.S. soldiers, which then motivates the Pentagon to retaliate again, which causes the Iranian-backed militia to retaliate again.

That’s how this entire sordid process has turned into a perpetual “war on terrorism,” one that sacrifices U.S. soldiers for nothing and, in the process, ends up destroying our rights and liberties here at home in the name of keeping us “safe” from the enemies that the Pentagon (and the CIA) are producing over there.

What business do U.S. soldiers have in Iraq? No business at all. The longer they are kept there, the greater the chance that more of them will be dying for nothing.

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The ‘Burn Pit’ Is The New Agent Orange Of Our Era

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2019

The VA was dragged, kicking and screaming, to set up a registry for which veterans could voluntarily register what they believed to be burn pit-connected illnesses.

https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2019/12/04/the-burn-pit-is-the-new-agent-orange-of-our-era/


Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

Its a headline that should, by all appearances, be considered good news.” But somehow the November 18 declaration, VA announces plans to study military toxic exposures, connections to veteran illnesses,” just comes off as an Onion-esque parody.

Thats because the Veterans Affairs Department has been vowing to study” the effects of the ubiquitous “burn pits” on soldiers for more than a decade—so has the Pentagon. In fact, there have been tons of studies already, big and small, in both the public and private sectors. But like everything in Washington, launching one more study or task force allows the bureaucracy to stall real action—in this case, practical help for thousands of men and women who say theyre suffering from war-related illnesses.

Once upon a time, the lag time between when Vietnam veterans reported getting sick from Agent Orange exposure in the late 1970s to when the government began officially recognizing their illnesses, including cancer (in 1991), was considered the height of institutional inertia and neglect. In fact, many Vietnam veterans who did not fit the original parameters of the 1991 policy that made Agent Orange exposure a service-connected illness, affording them access to VA health care and disability compensation, are still fighting for their due.

But successive wars in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan have created two new generations of veterans who have been mostly denied VA health care and disability benefits for their toxic exposures overseas. In other words, waiting as long if not longer than their Vietnam counterparts has merely become the new normal.

This includes some 250,000 Persian Gulf veterans, now mostly in their 50s and 60s, who are suffering from a variety of mysterious health conditions many medical experts now believe resulted from their exposure to widely used pesticides, the pyridostigmine bromide pills taken by troops to protect against sarin gas, and actual sarin gas exposure during the 1991 war. Outside studies have been conducted for more than 20 years now, with many finding direct correlation between service and illness. The VA has stepped up in so far as there is a way for these veterans to file service-connected claims, but the way the requirements are set up, it is still very difficult to actually get approved. According to one explosive report, some 80 percent of Gulf veteransclaims were denied between 2010 and 2015.

Then there are the burn pits. For years after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, the U.S. military dumped all of the trash accumulating on its massive U.S. forward operating bases into unregulated, unfiltered, open air pits. These pits, often the size of football fields or larger, burned everything from broken down vehicles, batteries, styrofoam, medical waste, food, paint cans, tires, you name it. They burned day and night, notable for the smoky haze and big black angry plumes. Tens of thousands of troops and other personnel worked and lived right next to these pits, unprotected, and many complained about coughing up crud,” and getting sick right away when they arrived for the first time on base.

In one case, this author interviewed the wife of a soldier who, while stationed at Camp Taji in Iraq, began to lose all feeling in his feet. By 2009 he was home and confined to a wheelchair at the age of 49. VA doctors were flummoxed by his condition, finally diagnosing him with rheumatoid fibromyalgia. But his own neurologist believed, even at the time, that his condition was the result of nerve damage caused by toxic exposure.

That was 10 years ago. But now we know that there is fine particulate matter like heavy metals in the air around these unfiltered pits, and it was reported to Air Force officials as early as 2006 that it was an environmental health hazard. We know they sat on this information and even to this day will not acknowledge that the toxic air could be responsible for serious neurological and respiratory problems, not to mention cancer, among this cohort of  veterans.

Congress believed it enough to shut down the burn pits in late 2009 after the stories like the one above started flowing from veteransblogs and into their offices on Capitol Hill. But despite the order, burn pits are still being used in the war zone today.

The VA was dragged, kicking and screaming, to set up a registry for which veterans could voluntarily register what they believed to be burn pit-connected illnesses. Since 2014, some 187,630 veterans have signed up as of this October. Meanwhile, the media is now rife with stories about young veterans dying of cancer, of wasting away in wheelchairs and with ever-present oxygen masks. A new report shows a spike in cancer rates among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking VA care.

A class action suit by 800 veterans who wanted to hold the private contractor Kellogg, Brown, & Root responsible for the conditions caused by the burn pits went all the way up to the Supreme Court, but the justices wouldnt hear the case.

Sadly, thanks to testing by private medical doctors, we know that the worst of the damage to vets is irreversible and that taking care of those who do not die as a result will cost the government billions over time. And here is the rub: between this generation, and that of the Persian Gulf veterans behind them, the VA is faced with liabilities that will stretch beyond today and decades into the future. There is every incentive to stall.

The American government should not have this luxury. When Washington made the decision to surge hundreds of thousands of troops into Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq, it also entered into a covenant of care with those service members. Yes, this covenant has been broken many times before, but there is no reason to normalize the practice.

Had the government cared enough to find out what it was spraying, firing, burning and asking our troops to ingest, instead of treating them like guinea pigs, or worse, disposable, they would not be staring down the barrel of a trillion dollar gun. But here we are. It is up to us as citizens and policy makers to force some action, and say that one more study” just wont cut it.

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VA asks for more veterans to sign up for Burn Pit Registry ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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U.S. finally admits Agent Orange residue poisoned its own soldiers

Posted by M. C. on December 5, 2019

A start. Now there is depleted uranium, toxic burn pits and all the military bases that are essentially superfund sites. Like Subic Bay.

I’ll bet you know vets that are dealing with Agent Orange. I do.

The American military is the US soldier’s worst enemy.

https://www.newstarget.com/2016-05-09-u-s-finally-admits-agent-orange-residue-poisoned-its-own-soldiers.html

By

After decades of denial, the Department of Veteran Affairs finally acknowledged that Monsanto’s Agent Orange, a herbicide sprayed across Vietnam during the war, was responsible for the health ailments of over 2,100 Air Force servicemen.

Federal officials have agreed to release over $45 million in disability benefits to Air Force active duty personnel and reservists who were exposed to Agent Orange from residue off C-123 aircraft, despite never having been to Vietnam.

The admission follows an Institute of Medicine study that concluded that “some C-123 reservists stationed in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts had been exposed to Agent Orange residues in the planes and suffered higher risks of health problems as a result,” according to a report from ABC.

“Opening up eligibility for this deserving group of Air Force veterans and reservists is the right thing to do,” said VA Secretary Bob McDonald in a statement.

The toxicity of Agent Orange

According to the non-partisan Aspen Institute in Washington D.C., Agent Orange was a herbicide used by the military to defoliate the Vietnamese jungle and expose Vietnam Cong and North Vietnamese troops using the jungle as a cover to move men and material to South Vietnam. Even though its use ended decades ago, the toxic contaminant of Agent Orange, dioxin, did not degrade as readily and is still causing health problems in Vietnam.

“The Red Cross estimates that three million Vietnamese have been affected by dioxin, including at least 150,000 children born with serious birth defects,” said the Institute. “Millions of Americans and Vietnamese are still affected, directly and indirectly, by the wartime U.S. spraying of Agent Orange and other herbicides over southern and central Vietnam.”

Monsanto is still in business

The payout is the least the government can do to compensate for all the years of suffering our servicemen had to endure. Unfortunately, despite the seemingly positive turn of events, injustice remains deeply rooted in our system. Monsanto, the corporation behind the deadly Agent Orange and the now destructive Roundup herbicide, continues to wield significant influence over the government and the mainstream media.

Funny, isn’t it? The military, after supporting the company through the purchase of millions of gallons of its herbicides, is now paying millions of dollars to deal with the aftermath of its deadly mistake – all the while, Monsanto and its cohorts continue to laugh all the way to the bank.

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The Doctor, the Depleted Uranium, and the Dying Children ...

 

 

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#Lest You Did Not Know: A “Tiny Piece” of Unknown History- This US soldier ‘found alive’ in Vietnam 44 years after being left behind

Posted by M. C. on October 17, 2019

Not so surprising considering John McCain did such an admirable job of covering up the ‘pows left behind’ story.

6. On Nov. 11, 1992, Dolores Alfond, the sister of missing airman Capt. Victor Apodaca and chair of the National Alliance of Families, an organization of relatives of POW/MIAs, testified at one of the Senate committee’s public hearings. She asked for information about data the government had gathered from electronic devices used in a classified program known as PAVE SPIKE.

McCain attended that committee hearing specifically to confront Alfond because of her criticism of the panel’s work. He bellowed and berated her for quite a while. His face turning anger-pink, he accused her of “denigrating” his “patriotism.” The bullying had its effect—she began to cry.

After a pause Alfond recovered and tried to respond to his scorching tirade, but McCain simply turned away and stormed out of the room. The PAVE SPIKE file has never been declassified. We still don’t know anything about those 20 POWs.

It’s not clear whether the taped confession McCain gave to his captors to avoid further torture has played a role in his postwar behavior in the Senate. That confession was played endlessly over the prison loudspeaker system at Hoa Lo—to try to break down other prisoners—and was broadcast over Hanoi’s state radio. Reportedly, he confessed to being a war criminal who had bombed civilian targets. The Pentagon has a copy of the confession but will not release it. Also, no outsider I know of has ever seen a non-redacted copy of the debriefing of McCain when he returned from captivity, which is classified but could be made public by McCain.

via #Lest You Did Not Know: A “Tiny Piece” of Unknown History- This US soldier ‘found alive’ in Vietnam 44 years after being left behind

envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com

A NEW DOCUMENTARY called Unclaimed claims to introduce the world to former Army Sergeant John Robertson, lost over Vietnam in 1968 and left behind for over four decades.

The Toronto Star reports Edmonton filmmaker Michael Jorgenson found Robertson, 76, living in a rural Vietnam village stooped with age, unable to speak English, remember his birthday, or names of the children he left behind in the U.S.

It’s a story difficult to understand considering the US military places such a priority on bringing every service member home, whenever possible.

Jorgenson told the Toronto Star that he was also skeptical when Vietnam vet Tom Faunce came to him and explained a man he’d found in Vietnam was a former “Army brother” listed as killed in action and forgotten. He says he became convinced only after going to Vietnam and meeting Robertson himself.

What he found was revealed to filmgoers in an invitation only screening of “Unclaimed” at a Toronto theatre earlier this month.

From The Toronto Star: There is physical proof of Robertson’s birthplace, collected in dramatic fashion onscreen; a tearful meeting in Vietnam with a soldier who was trained by Robertson in 1960 and said he knew him on sight; and a heart-wrenching reunion with his only surviving sister — 80-year-old Jean Robertson-Holly — in Edmonton in December 2012 that left the audience at the Toronto screening wiping away tears.

Jorgenson encountered so much resistance from the US military making his film that he says he’s convinced one “high-placed government source” was telling the truth when he said, “It’s not that the Vietnamese won’t let him (Robertson) go; it’s that our government doesn’t want him.”

Wringing out the details and talking to Robertson’s American family seems to have been a gut-wrenching affair. The children whose names he couldn’t recall declined DNA testing at the last minute with no explanation.

None of that mattered to Roberston who says he fulfilled his wish of coming to America and seeing his kids one more time before he dies.

Robertson’s now back in Vietnam, with no desire to leave and Unclaimed opens in the USA on 12 May, at the G.I. Film Festival in Washington, DC.

– Robert Johnson

 

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Unused Militaries, by Fred Reed – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on September 11, 2019

I seem to recall when NATO was freeing Libya FOR human and drug traffickers NATO forces ran low of munitions.

NATO was lucky they weren’t dealing with a real country with a real military.

http://www.unz.com/freed/unused-militaries/

For a couple of decades I covered the military for various publications, as for example the Washington Times and Harper’s, and wrote a military column for Universal Press Syndicate. I was following the time-honored principle of sensible reporters: “Ask not what you can do for journalism, but what journalism can do for you.” The military beat was a great gig, letting you fly in fighter planes and sink in submarines. But if you take the study seriously, as I did, you learn interesting things. Such as that a war with a real country, such as Russia, China, or even Iran, would be a fool’s adventure. A few points:

Unused militaries deteriorate

The US fleet has not been in a war since 1945, the air forces since 1975. nor the Army in a hard fight since Vietnam. Bombing defenseless peasants, the chief function of the American military, is not war.

In extended periods of peace, which includes the bombing of peasants, a military tends to assume that no major war will come during the careers of those now in uniform. Commanders consequently do what makes their lives easy, what they must do to get through the day and have reasonable fitness reports. This does not include pointing out inadequacies of training or equipment. Nor does it include recommending large expenditures to remedy deficiencies. Nor does it include recommending very expensive mobilization exercises that would divert money from new weapons.

Thus an armored command has enough replacement tracks for training, but not enough for tanks in hard use in extended combat. When the crunch comes, it turns out that getting more track requires a new contract with the manufacturer, who has shut down the production line. The same is true for air filters, there not being much sand at Fort Campbell but a lot in Iraq. Things as mundane as MRATs and boots are not there.in real-war quantities.

GAU-8 ammo is in short supply because theory says the F-35 will do tank busting. The Navy runs out of TLAMs early on and discovers that manufacturing cruise missiles takes time. Lots ot it.

And of course some things simply don’t work as expected. Military history buffs will remember the Mark XIV torpedo, the Mark VI exploder of WWII, and the travails of the Tinosa.

Come the war, things turn into a goat rope. FUBAR, SNAFU.

The United States cannot fight a large land war, as for example against Russia, China, or Iran. Such a war would require conscription. The public would not stand for it. America no longer enjoys the sort of patriotic unity that it did at the beginning of the war against Vietnam. It will not accept heavy casualties…

The existing fleet has never been under fire and does not think it ever will be. Most of its ships are thin-skinned, unarmored. One hit by an antiship missile would remove them from the war. This is as true of the Tico-class Aegis ships as of the newer Arleigh Burkes.

An aircraft carrier is a bladder of jet fuel wrapped around high explosives.The implications are considerable. A plunging hypersonic terminally-guided ballistic missile, piercing the flight deck and exploding in the hangar deck, would require a year in the repair yards…

Through Vietnam, America’s wars were fought by tough kids, often from rural backgrounds involving familiarity with guns and with hard physical work. I know as I grew up and went to Marine boot with them...

Today America has a military corrupted by social-justice politics. Recruits are no longer country boys who could chop cordwood. Obesity is common. The Pentagon has lowered physical standards, hidden racial problems, softened training. The officers are afraid of the large numbers of military women who are now in combat positions. One complaint about sexism and there goes the career.

In times of extended peace the officer corps decays. All second-tour officers are politicians, especially above the level of lieutenant colonel. You don’t get promoted by suggesting the the senior ranks are lying for political reasons, as by insisting that the Afghan war is being won...

The military is not ready for a real war now because its focus is always on things down the road. For example, the Navy cannot now defeat hypersonic antiship missiles but will be able to, it thinks, someday, maybe, world without end, with near-magical lasers still in development. These will funnel lots of money to Raytheon or Lockheed Martin or somebody whether they work or not. Which isn’t important since nobody really believes there will be a serious war...

Men of incalculable stupidity and likely sexual inadequacy talk about nuclear war as winnable. Dream on. Reflect: American cities cannot feed themselves. Three days without food shipments and New Yorkers would clear the supermarket shelves. A week and they would kill for cans of tuna fish. Two weeks and they would be eating each other. A very few nuclear bombs on transportation hubs would prevent distribution of food for months. Even fewer cobalt bombs, designed to produce a maximum of lingering radiation, would make the farm belts lethally radioactive for a decade.

“Defense Intellectuals,” usually stupid enough that they ought to live in trees, chatter about escalation dominance and the intimidation factor and airtight missile defense. They are nuts. What they really need is a codpiece and a subscription to Pornhub Premium.

This is why it is a really, really, bad idea to have a psychopathic cockatoo, two loon Christians, and a pathologically aggressive momma’s boy in a position to start a war.

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17 Best images about Peace, Love, Justice on Pinterest ...

 

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Does a popular Oregon Lake contain barrels of Agent Orange? – The Daily Sheeple

Posted by M. C. on June 19, 2019

Agent Orange. The government gift that keeps on giving.

I think most of us know a Vietnam vet that is suffering or dies from AO.

The people of Vietnam certainly do.

https://www.thedailysheeple.com/does-a-popular-oregon-lake-contain-barrels-of-agent-orange/

 

JOSEPH, Ore. — Is Agent Orange at the bottom of Wallowa Lake in Eastern Oregon? The Environmental Protection Agency says no.

Last summer, the diving group Blue Mountain Divers were swimming along the lake’s bottom when they came across a barrel with the label for weed killer on it. The group contacted the Department of Environmental Quality, who then turned it over to the EPA due to a lack of funding and resources to remove them.

When divers uncovered the label, which was covered in sediment, they noticed it said “Contains 2-4 D or 2, 4, 5-T Weed Killer,” the two ingredients used to make the Agent Orange herbicide.

Agent Orange was a tactical herbicide manufactured for the military during the Vietnam War. It uses an equal mixture of both 2-4 D and 2, 4, 5-T at a high concentration. The EPA and Oregon’s DEQ notes that the label says “or,” meaning the barrel divers found does not contain both chemicals, if at all.

The two agencies also said Agent Orange was never produced commercially.

In total, Blue Mountain Divers located 37 barrels. It’s unknown what’s inside any of the barrels, including the one with the weed killer label. That is making it difficult to remove them.

“We still don’t have enough information to know what condition they’re in. Whether they contain herbicides or not, it’s a fairly challenging thing to do at depth in cold water,” said EPA spokesman Bill Dunbar. “They have to be very, very careful in the off chance they do have herbicide and we have to be very careful as well. It’s not a matter of just wrapping a chain around them and yanking them up. You have to be very cautious.”

A contractor working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency started exploring the alpine lake’s bottom with side-scan sonar to learn more about what’s actually there. So far they have located 18 barrels near the marina…

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