Vietnam War (1970)

BIOTERRORBIBLE.COM: The following state/government sponsored bio-terror tests (attacks) occurred during the Vietnamn War, specifically in 1970. The historical record of state sponsored bio-terror is littered with unprovoked attacks on unsuspecting soldiers and citizens alike. The fact that state sponsored bio-terror tests (attacks) exist in mass confirms not only that government is the serial bio-terrorist, but that it will strike again in the near future.

Currently, Israel is the only modern nation that has not signed the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention  (refusal to engage in offensive biological warfare, stockpiling, and use of biological weapons). Also, Israel is the only modern nation that has signed but not ratified the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (refusal to produce, stockpile and use chemical weapons). Should the world suffer a major bio-terror attack or pandemic, Israel will be the #1 suspect.

Title: U.S. Military Used Nerve Gas To Kill Vietnam War Defectors, Report Says
Date:
June 8, 1998

Source:
LA Times

Abstract: The U.S. military used nerve gas on a mission to kill Americans who defected during the Vietnam War, CNN and Time magazine said Sunday in a joint report.

The so-called Operation Tailwind was approved by the Nixon White House as well as the CIA, the report said, quoting as its main source retired Adm. Thomas Moorer, a Vietnam-era chief of naval operations and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Former military officials who participated in the operation said their job was to kill defectors in Vietnam from the U.S. military, but it was not known for sure whether the suspected defectors died during a preparatory nerve gas attack or during a subsequent assault with conventional weapons carried out by Special Forces troops.

A companion story on the eight-month investigation in which 200 people were interviewed appears in the current edition of Time magazine, written jointly by a CNN producer and correspondent.

"It was pretty well understood that if you came across a defector, and could prove it to yourself beyond a reasonable doubt, do it, under any circumstance, kill them," said 1st Lt. Robert Van Buskirk, who was a platoon leader in the operation. "It wasn't about bringing them back. It was to kill them."

"We have no historical evidence to confirm we ever used nerve gas in Vietnam or mounted operations against defectors," Pentagon spokesman Jim Turner told AP on Sunday.

The reported use of nerve gas came after Nixon pledged a "no first use" policy on nerve gas. The U.S. had already signed a treaty restricting chemical weapons, but the Senate had not ratified it.

The nerve gas, sarin, is the same gas used three years ago in a deadly terrorist subway attack in Japan.

Several officers who served in Operation Tailwind told the premiere episode of "NewsStand: CNN & Time" that the government liked to call the gas "incapacitating gas" or "knockout gas"--but that its true makeup was widely known.

"Nerve gas, the government don't want it called that," said Mike Hagen, a platoon sergeant in Operation Tailwind. "They want to call it incapacitating agent or some other form, but it was nerve gas."

The report said Moorer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1970, did not admit on camera that nerve gas was used, but confirmed off camera that it was.

"I would be willing to use any weapon and any tactic to save the lives of American soldiers," Moorer said on camera, adding that he had no figures on how often lethal gas was used during the war. "I never made a point of counting that up," he said. "I'm sure you can find out from those that have used them."

The soldiers involved in the nerve gas operations were part of the Studies and Observations Group, a small, elite unit of the Special Forces. CNN quoted John Singlaub, a former commander of the unit, as saying it could be more important to the survival of U.S. troops to kill defectors than enemy soldiers because the defectors' knowledge of communications and tactics "can be damaging."

Van Buskirk said the team attacked a village base camp in Laos after observing American men--believed to be defectors--among the people. He said he even threw a hand grenade down a hole to kill two American men who were fleeing.

"We basically destroyed everything there," Hagen said.

Van Buskirk described the scene as "a mess."

"It was just pieces of human beings," he said, adding that among the more than 100 bodies, soldiers saw more than a dozen Americans they believed to be defectors.

But the gas use didn't stop there, the news show reported.

Former military officials said the gas was used a second time to get the team out of the area after enemy troops arrived.

"They were told to put on their funny faces [gas masks] because war daddy said we are coming in with gas," said Capt. Eugene McCarley, who led Operation Tailwind but says he never considered the use of lethal gas.

McCarley also denies that Operation Tailwind's mission was to kill defectors. "We weren't looking for any village. We stumbled upon it by accident," he said.

One Tailwind veteran described seeing the enemy forces throwing up and in convulsions on the ground.

"I looked down into this valley. All I see is bodies," Van Buskirk said.

Veterans' activist Ted Sampley of Kinston, N.C., reacted with disbelief when contacted about the story late Sunday. He said he remembers only being warned of deserters fighting with enemy troops and of being told to kill those soldiers if found.

"The United States did a lot of things . . . but the use of nerve gas over there, I find it really hard to believe," said Sampley, who did two tours in Vietnam, the last as a member of the Special Forces (LA Times, 1998).

Title: CNN Retracts Report That U.S. Used Nerve Gas
Date:
July 3, 1998
Source:
New York Times

Abstract: Cable News Network executives yesterday retracted the network's report that the United States military used lethal sarin nerve gas in a secret 1970 mission in Laos with the intention of killing American defectors.

The retraction, broadcast yesterday afternoon and accompanied by an apology, was based on an independent investigation, done at CNN's request, that showed the report's conclusions were not supported by the evidence.

The original broadcast, accompanied by the fanfare of advance publicity common in the growing community of broadcast news magazines, was shown on June 7 as the feature presentation on the first installment of the news magazine show ''Newsstand: CNN & Time.'' The broadcast, a joint venture with Time magazine, was hailed within the Time-Warner empire as the fruit of productive synergy between the company's disparate news-gathering operations.

The apology amounted to a devastating admission that the report had falsely cast the United States Government, and in particular its military and intelligence arms, as brazenly using and concealing the use of one of the most forbidden weapons in the modern arsenal, a nerve gas banned by numerous international treaties.

A day after the piece was broadcast, a slightly modified version of the account of a mission code-named Operation Tailwind was published in Time, which also made a retraction and an apology yesterday. Journalists at Time and CNN said yesterday that the story was broadcast and published despite reservations raised by journalists within both organizations who received a last-minute chance to examine the report.

A senior executive with the network said yesterday that Peter Arnett, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and perhaps the network's most prominent correspondent, had been reprimanded for his work on the story. April Oliver and her colleague Jack Smith, the producers who had led the eight-month reporting effort, refused to resign and were dismissed. Pamela Hill, the senior executive producer of ''Newsstand,'' resigned.

Saying that CNN alone was responsible for the erroneous report, Tom Johnson, the chairman of the CNN News Group, issued a statement saying, ''We acknowledge serious faults in the use of sources who provided 'Newsstand' with the original reports and therefore retract the Tailwind story.

''We apologize to our viewers and to our colleagues at Time for this mistake.''

Time's article appeared under the bylines of Ms. Oliver and Mr. Arnett, whose career has taken him from Vietnam in the early 1960's to Baghdad in the Persian Gulf war. A Time editor reviewed the article and accepted its basic thrust.

The investigation of the broadcast, conducted by Floyd Abrams, the constitutional lawyer, offered a microscopic examination of how journalism can go awry.

''The CNN broadcast was not fair,'' the report said.

It showed no fabrication or illegality, but a more subtle process of distortion that began when conclusions outstripped the evidence, continued when sources were encouraged to believe that unseen evidence proved their own suspicions to be true and was compounded by interviews laced with hypothetical questions and ambiguous answers. Ultimately, the report concluded, the journalists refused to give more than a glancing nod to eyewitnesses' denials that sarin gas had been used.

''The CNN journalists involved in this project believed in every word they wrote,'' according to the Abrams report. ''If anything, the serious flaws in the broadcast that we identify in this report may stem from the depths of those beliefs and the degree to which the journalists discounted contrary information they received precisely because they were so firmly persuaded that what they were broadcasting was true.''

But even as her work was being repudiated, Ms. Oliver, the producer, refused to back away from her conclusions. ''I feel that this report was solid,'' she said, ''that I made every step any journalist would take to insure its accuracy and that I had the full backing of management all the way up to the top.''

In a conference call with reporters yesterday, Mr. Abrams said he had enlisted former intelligence officers from the investigative firm Jules Kroll to try to confirm the account through their own military, intelligence and diplomatic sources.

The account of the Abrams investigation, which was posted on CNN's site on the World Wide Web (www.cnn.com), included numerous instances of overreaching in the broadcast. His report examines the five underpinnings of the broadcast -- including interviews with participants, information from nerve gas experts, confidential sources with knowledge of United States intelligence operations, a retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- and finds flaws in every one.

The most-cited source, Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, who was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from mid-1970 to mid-1974, is 87, lives in an assisted-care retirement home in Maryland and is no longer relied on by CNN's military correspondents. And many of the answers he gave were to hypothetical questions.

The accounts of those on the scene, where a commando unit had attacked a base camp and then called for backup air support, are dramatic. Particularly dramatic are accounts that the backup fixed-wing planes dropped gas to help the American unit escape.

But, as one of the pilots of the aircraft said yesterday, when the CNN journalists interviewed him, ''I mostly got nerve-gas questions and I gave tear-gas answers.''

The pilot, Art Bishop, now a retired satellite engineer, made a brief journal entry the day after the 1970 engagement saying his craft had been armed with cluster bomb units that carried tear gas and explosives.

In his conference call, Mr. Abrams said that a separate document the journalists relied on was ''a bad Xerox.'' It contained a virtually illegible reference to a substance used in cluster bombs coded as ''25,'' the code for explosives. The journalist read the illegible number as ''15,'' the code for nerve gas.

In another case, the Abrams report pointed out, one member of a reconnaissance unit near the action, Jay Graves, ''was an important on-the-ground source of information for both the use of sarin gas and the presence of American defectors.'' The broadcast quoted Mr. Graves as saying: ''We saw some round-eyed people. We didn't know if they were prisoners or whatever.''

But Mr. Graves's qualifying statement -- ''I didn't see any of them'' -- was not used in the broadcast.

Like Ms. Oliver, the show's senior producer, Mr. Smith, said yesterday that he stood by the story.

Reached at his home last night, Mr. Arnett said, ''I accept the Abrams report. The reason I accept his judgment is that I was covering the Baghdad crisis for about four months during the critical formation of this thesis. So I was essentially brought in late. I asked a few questions and I read the script.''

The pilot, Art Bishop, now a retired satellite engineer, made a brief journal entry the day after the 1970 engagement saying his craft had been armed with cluster bomb units that carried tear gas and explosives.

In his conference call, Mr. Abrams said that a separate document the journalists relied on was ''a bad Xerox.'' It contained a virtually illegible reference to a substance used in cluster bombs coded as ''25,'' the code for explosives. The journalist read the illegible number as ''15,'' the code for nerve gas.

In another case, the Abrams report pointed out, one member of a reconnaissance unit near the action, Jay Graves, ''was an important on-the-ground source of information for both the use of sarin gas and the presence of American defectors.'' The broadcast quoted Mr. Graves as saying: ''We saw some round-eyed people. We didn't know if they were prisoners or whatever.''

But Mr. Graves's qualifying statement -- ''I didn't see any of them'' -- was not used in the broadcast.

Like Ms. Oliver, the show's senior producer, Mr. Smith, said yesterday that he stood by the story.

Reached at his home last night, Mr. Arnett said, ''I accept the Abrams report. The reason I accept his judgment is that I was covering the Baghdad crisis for about four months during the critical formation of this thesis. So I was essentially brought in late. I asked a few questions and I read the script.''

Walter Isaacson, Time's managing editor, declined to elaborate on a statement he issued yesterday, which said, ''Based on our own investigation and that conducted by CNN, we have concluded that the facts simply do not support the allegations that were made.''

The Time article was edited by John F. Stacks, an executive editor, and Johanna McGeary, Time's senior foreign correspondent, neither of whom returned calls seeking comment. It was also overseen by Joelle Attinger, an executive editor at Time Inc. who serves as Time magazine's liaison with CNN.

''I'm heartbroken,'' Ms. Attinger said yesterday. ''I think we all take responsibility for it.''

People at Time say the magazine relied on the 156-page summary in which Ms. Oliver detailed her sources, a summary that Mr. Abrams criticized in his report as selective and slanted.

At no time, several people at Time said, did anyone question Ms. Oliver's material as insufficient or suspect, nor did anyone argue that the article should not run. Moreover, people at Time said there was no overt pressure from CNN to publish the article.

But one correspondent said the timing of CNN's broadcast of the gas story -- which ran that Sunday -- was such that Time felt compelled to publish the article. ''Normally on a Friday, if there are serious questions about a story you can always hold it,'' said one Time correspondent who declined to be identified.

Although Time has been working with CNN on polls and on the news magazine program ''Impact,'' the gas story was the first collaboration in the magazine.

Similarly, Norman Pearlstine, the editor in chief of Time Inc., said the company stood by its alliance with CNN. ''It doesn't cause me to rethink the teamwork with TV,'' he said. ''All of us obviously learned some things here, and I'm sure as the weeks go on we'll have discussions about what are the appropriate procedures in any kind of joint venture.''

Richard N. Kaplan, the president of CNN-U.S., said the network plans to establish a unit to review the material in longer news magazine-type broadcasts (New York Times, 1998).

Title: Veterans File For Class Action Over Weapons Testing
Date: February 13, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: A petition for class certification was recently filed on behalf of eight individual disabled veterans and two non-profit veteran’s organizations that have been involved in a two year court battle with the U.S. military over the secret testing of chemical and biological weapons on soldiers.

The plaintiffs, including Vietnam Veterans of America and Swords into Plowshares, allege that none of the estimated 100,000 “volunteers” for the program provided their informed consent and that some of the testing was conducted on unwitting participants, according to Salem-News.com.

The lawsuit does not seek monetary damages, but has called for the overturning of the so-called Feres doctrine, a 1950 Supreme Court decision that has served to insulate the federal government from liability under the Federal Torts Claims Act for claims brought by service personnel. The court dismissed this claim early in the case.

In addition, the plaintiffs are demanding the military notify participants what substances were tested on them, the method of administration and the known health effects. They are also seeking healthcare coverage for veterans who have suffered diseases or other conditions related to their participation in the program, Salem-News.com reports.

The research programs allegedly tested more than 400 different chemical and biological agents on soldiers during five decades of research, including anthrax, plague, tularemia, Q fever, dioxin and Agent Orange.

In an ongoing process, the plaintiffs have filed a series of motions challenging the defendants’ claims that key documents in the case are considered state secrets.

“The chem/bio veterans were used by the government many years ago and were discharged and abandoned. It is a national disgrace that must be made right,” Rick Weidman of the Vietnam Veterans of America said, Salem-News.org reports (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).   

Title: Too Little Too Late? US To Clean Up Agent Orange In Vietnam
Date: August 9, 2012
Source:
RT

Abstract: The Vietnam War ended over 35 years ago, but not before some 1 million people died. And the toxic chemical Agent Orange, used by US forces to burn away parts of the jungle, still lingers in the area, poisoning the environment and human bodies.

Only now, 51 years after the first spraying, is Washington acknowledging the devastation it caused with Agent Orange to Vietnam’s ecosystem and the health of the Vietnamese.

On Thursday, the two countries are launching the first ever joint decontamination program on part of Danang International Airport, located in one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. The deadly defoliant was stored at Danang airbase and sprayed from US military planes to strip trees of their foliage and expose communist troops along the border with Laos.

US troops sprayed up to 53 million liters of Agent Orange during 10 years of the Vietnam War, according to Reuters.

To this day, vast amounts of the toxic chemical remain in soil and water sources. They can enter the food chain through animal fat, leaving many people to deal with its harmful after-effects. It has been blamed for countless deaths and deformities in newborn babies, having affected both the Vietnamese – not discriminating between combatants and civilians – and US veterans.

The American government is now allocating US$41 million to the clean-up project, which is aimed at reducing the contamination levels in 73,000 cubic meters of soil by late 2016, according to Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party.

However, the question of health compensation is still one of the major post-war issues between Washington and Hanoi.

For many years after the war the United States did not want to recognize that Agent Orange was even a problem for its own veterans, says Jeanne Mirer, president of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers.

“Until 1994, when normalization happened, they reneged on any obligation that they had agreed to remediate or help rebuild Vietnam. It’s been a historic denial process that the United States has had, saying that they don’t believe there’s anything wrong, that they did anything wrong or that there’s been any problem,” she told RT.

So what triggered that change in Washington’s attitude?

Columnist and political cartoonist Ted Rall says it is profit, not ethics.

“US trade relations with Vietnam are becoming increasingly important, especially as China reaches out into Vietnam. So the State Department obviously views this as an opportunity to improve the relations with Vietnam and therefore open up more opportunities for American business,” he told RT. “This is over half a century later – a lot of the people who were affected would have died of old age anyway by now… We should have taken care of this in 1975.”

Rall’s stance is echoed by Vietnam War veteran and organizer of the ANSWER Coalition, Bill Hackwell, who believes that Washington's motives are not purely humanitarian.

“You have to question the timing of that, and it cannot only be viewed as a concern to try to pull Vietnam closer to them – because of the growing influence that China has as an emerging superpower around the world,” he said (RT, 2012).

Title: Alleged Agent Orange Victims To Get Scientology Detox Treatment
Date: September 6, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: Alleged victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam are set to receive a controversial "detoxification" treatment developed by the Church of Scientology.

Scientologists use the "Hubbard Method" -- which involves saunas and vitamins -- to try to cure drug addiction and alcoholism. The church set up a center in New York after the 9/11 attacks offering a similar service for first responders who may have been exposed to toxins.

Many researchers have criticized the method as pseudoscientific and useless.

A hospital official and state-controlled media said 24 people were at a Hanoi hospital on Thursday waiting for the program. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The U.S. military dumped some 20 million gallons (75 million liters) of Agent Orange and other herbicides on about a quarter of former South Vietnam between 1962 and 1971, decimating about 5 million acres (2 million hectares) of forest -- roughly the size of Massachusetts.

Dioxins in it have since been linked to birth defects, though the United States maintains there is no evidence of any link between Agent Orange and health problems among Vietnamese.

"I hope my wife and I will fully recover completely and will not suffer after-effects to pass on to my descendants," prospective patient Nguyen Xuan Anh was quoted as saying in the Viet Nam News daily.

U.S. Embassy spokesperson Christopher Hodges said Washington was not funding the program and said "we are not aware of any safe, effective detoxification treatment for people with dioxin in body tissues."

Last month, the U.S. began a landmark project cleaning up toxins from the site of a former air base in Danang in central Vietnam. Part of the former base consists of a dry field where U.S. troops once stored and mixed the defoliant before it was loaded onto planes.

Washington has been quibbling for years over the need for more scientific research to show that the herbicide caused health problems among Vietnamese. It has given about $60 million for environmental restoration and social services in Vietnam since 2007, but the Danang project is its first direct involvement in cleaning up dioxin, which has seeped into Vietnam's soil and watersheds for generations.

The "Hubbard Method" is named after Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard (Fox News, 2012).