Dear Sgt. Johnson:
Thank you for your response regarding my position on anthrax. I want you to know you are the only person who has contacted me with a negative response out of the daily non-stop phone calls I have received on this issue . All have been supportive.
However, I will respond to this letter as it gives me an opportunity to address anyone else's objections that might not have contacted me, but may share your opinions. Since you copied Art Bell on the message I will do the same and take the liberty of posting it on our web site. My reason for not responding to everyone is that it takes considerable time to restate my already researched information and well-thought position.
First of all, thank you for you and your son's service to this country. We served for the right reasons and had no idea we were being utilized as experimental subjects, in many cases, over the last 50 years. (SR103-97).
I want you to know I did not present this information on The Art Bell Show without conferring with many other medical professionals. Subsequent to the program, I received many phone calls from military and medical professionals who said they agreed and were pursuing the vaccination waiver.
I read your message in its entirety and gave it very serious consideration. I hope you will give me the same courtesy. I have included the cites for you to do the research to evaluate this material. I have always said don't believe me, get the documents and you check it out for yourself.. Obviously many people don't do that and thus I am continually asked to defend my position. I cannot do that due to time constraints so we have provided much of the info on the web. The evidence exists to substantiate what I say. I have done years of research on this subject and put my life savings into it. I don't say anything lightly when the reputation of a million GW vets is at stake.
1. Your statement: "Saddam Hussein" has and will continue to develop weapons of mass destruction...He showed Hitleresque evil in his willingness to use such weapons...and used them on his own people.
JR's response: Saddam Hussein (S.H.) has these weapons because the U.S. initially provided them via the American Type Culture Collection in Rockville, MD. through 1989! (103-900, pp.264-276). We, the U.S. and Iraq were signatories to the 1972 Geneva Convention which disallows experimentation, sale or stockpile of these (weapons of mass destruction). The U.S. also provided these weapons to many other third world countries and it is now suspected that 25 countries are weaponized with BW. (Do we remove all the BW from all the unstable countries )?
The U.S. participated in illegally arming Iraq with supposed dual-use technology and though this is old news, it was still illegal. The U.S. Government armed S.H. 1985-1990 which was not only illegal, but the funds were provided by the American taxpayer to the tune of $5 Billion (with a B) dollars through the CCC (Commercial Credit Corporation) and the Banco Nationale de Lavoro, an Italian Bank with a branch in Atlanta. This was an unsecured loan, the taxpayers of America assumed the debt. (See House Banking Committee report 1991, Rep. Gonzalez).
The bottom line to this answer is we made the anthrax, we sold it to the Iraqi Ministry of Trade and we even supplied him the commercial agricultural credits (money) to purchase it. Translation, we placed our troops in harms way when we knew they did not have adequate protection. (See GAO report on chemical protection).
We have armed those countries. And believe me, I am the first one to say there will probably be a problem with BW weapons release in this country. Do I think S.H. will use it in his own country?. "NO". The land would be destroyed for 50 years. It is really not important what I think for the Sec. Of Defense has been very blatant about the probability of BW attack and are presently preparing 120 cities for this very emergency. Why does the Sec. of Defense broadcast to the enemy and the American public that anthrax vaccine, will be used? Why do we instruct the enemy on CNN? Did you realize all six shots plus annual boosters must be given to make it effective? DoD doesnt begin till this summer, that will be Jan. of the year 2000 when the troops will be protected. Why would S.H. not just switch to "Bio-Agent B", knowing our troops will be protected against anthrax? During Op. D. Shield/Storm, only 1 or 2 anthrax shots were given to individual servicemen, not six and they were done DURING the war which provided no immunity! (103-97)
Our need is imminent NOW. The showdown with Saddam is now. The DoD has had a contract with Michigan Biologics since 1970, and we knew of the problem since the 1980s. Why didnt we continue the vaccinations after the war, if the need was so great?
According to 103-97, 90% of troop received no information regarding the anthrax and 85% were told they could not refuse it. There are also a high percentage of side effects with the injections, but no records were kept during the GW.
2. Your statement: "The function of vaccines is to develop immunity in the body before contraction of the disease."
J.R's response: That is just my point. See above. I am only trying to give information to make an informed decision. I am not trying to convince anyone else to take the shots or not. I only want them to know there is another side to the story. If there is nothing to fear, why do people want to limit the amount of information that is given. This info is publicly available, I as a nurse, want to help educate.
All I am trying to do is give the military service members more information. I wish someone would have given me informed consent in preparation for Desert Storm. My contention is they (we) should be told. We have enough precedent to show GW vets were not told the truth about immunizations during ODS/S. (See Shay Oversight committee report, and Special Report of Presidential Advisory commission). I won't even go into the botullinum issue which S.H. also has, thanks to the U.S. and what a disaster that was. It was an investigational drug and no statistics were kept nor were shots documented in the shot records.
3. Your statement: "Once the body has developed immunity, it doesn't much matter how such a weapon might be deployed...As an R.N. I would have thought this would be obvious to you..".
J.R's response: That is incorrect. Just because there is anthrax that can be transmitted by touching infected animals does not mean it will work against inhalational anthrax. Please refer to 103-97, p. 15.
"the vaccine's effectiveness against INHALED anthrax is unknown. Unfortunately when anthrax is used as a biological weapon, it is likely to be aerosolized and thus inhaled...although the results of this study suggest the vaccine might protect against anthrax that has been sprayed, it is NOT sufficient to prove that anthrax vaccine is SAFE AND EFFECTIVE as USED IN THE PERSIAN GULF."
There is only one animal study and it was for relapse of the disease with the additional use of antibiotics. You criticized me for referring to a 4 year old (it is really 3) statement from a Senate Veterans Committee November 1994.. I would advise you to look at the website where I referenced the JAMA. (Journal of the AMA, August 6, 1997).
Also, please refer to Lt. General Blanck's statement that "Anthrax vaccine should continue to be considered as a potential cause for undiagnosed illnesses in Persian Gulf military personnel " (103-97). Lt. General Ronald Blanck has been the Commanding General for several years. I have been a medical-malpractice consultant testifying in court for 15 years. I understand what evidence is and strive hard to stay away from opinion or conjecture.
4. Your statement: "...there is no waiver...as a Commissioned Officer I would have thought that would be obvious to you...".
J.R's response: That is incorrect. I actually know of an officer who recently completed the entire "religious and moral waiver procedure" and many are presently doing it. What will be the outcome I do not know. It will not be an easy road and it is only for those with such convictions. Many active service members have told me they plan to be another "Michael New."
5. Your statement: "I applaud you on your efforts for GW vets however I find your remarks re: anthrax to do a disservice to those who serve."
J.R's response: Thank you. I ask you, when is it a disservice to educate people about the possible risks and side effects? The Nuremburg Code requires this with no stipulation for the military. I believe the GW illness to be the worst story of America's history. You see, both the Pentagon and I cannot be right. One of us is not telling the truth. If you believe in what I am doing, (sans the anthrax) why are you and the other former Marine Staff Sergeants not outraged about what the PENTAGON is doing to our military? I only want to make people think rather than automatically hold out their arm for a shot whether military or civilian.
S.H is not the only one who has experimented or used weapons on his people. We as Americans have been experimented on by our own government, (CIA and Human Drug Testing, 1977, Biological warfare, 1977), Tuskegee just to name a few. Does anyone remember Waco and the CS particulate (outlawed)?
6. Your statement: "Politics be damned...anything that can be done should be done... I am thoroughly offended by your attitude in this matter and you have seriously damaged your credibility and ability to help GW vets."
J.R's response: First, I have never linked this to a political agenda. Democrats are not more likely to contract this disease than Republicans. I have firmly chastised both parties for their "Conspiracy of Silence." Those that take offense to the facts often try to deflect their validity by redirecting focus and some would rather shoot the messenger than acknowledge the message. My credibility is in providing GW vets grocery money when they have none, providing over 7,000 videos at no charge to GW vets so they can hear the other side of the story. Providing money to buy their family antibiotics and pay for the blood tests to see if they are positive. Do you see the U.S government doing this? Who can a vet call in the middle of the night who is ready to end it all?
Yes, so far, you, the Pentagon, Morris Dees. and the John Birch Society are offended. I am truly sorry when anyone is offended and cannot understand the bigger picture which is not the anthrax but the systematic genocide of our troops which is being allowed to happen. I do not keep your son or anyone else from taking the Anthrax shots. I asked you to think about it and this is what happens when a certain group of people are asked to think rather than blindly follow orders.
I can assure you that those who attempt the "waiver" will have to pursue this in an intelligent and contemplated fashion. This is only for those who have truly researched the issue. Sgt. Johnson, whether you fully understand it or not, the Pentagon has lied to you for the past six years regarding an illness that is killing our military and making their families ill. It is spreading a disease into the general population through unsafe blood donations. The DoD and VA have lied to us about the existence of the disease, exposures of chem/bio (until they got caught with a video) the communicability of the disease AND they have placed 90% of the vets that call the AGWVA on Prozac.
The DoD in November 1997, was recommended to be removed from the GW investigation because of their total loss of credibility (that is the politically correct way to say LYING!) by the House Oversight Committee and the Presidential Advisory Commission! How can we possibly look to a Defense Department who cannot be trusted to investigate what happened to its own soldiers. This is unconscionable and you dont hear the network news addressing this issue. How can we follow them into battle and look to them to protect this country if they are more concerned about covering up the illnesses and deaths of our men and women of DS/S than they are telling the truth?
They lost their credibility. I only exposed what they were not revealing. Schwarzkopf lied in his testimony of Jan. 1997, he admitted it in USA Today Sept. 15, 1997. What more does it take? Am I to believe the DoD/VA has had a "religious experience" since Sept. 1997 and is now telling us the truth?
You don't say anything in your letter regarding the Pentagon losing their credibility. I have not changed my story in three years and believe me,. I have come under continuous scrutiny. The Pentagon has changed its story almost every other week.
I stand by everything I said. I refuse any immunizations and as a nurse, I have given them for years. I researched them. You are allowed to make up your own mind. Mistakenly, too many of us vets are sick today because we blindly followed orders, didn't ask questions.
Of serious concern to me today is Bosnian troops who are now receiving an experimental vaccine and according to the Special Report of the Pres. Advisory Commission, "IT IS AN ABYSMAL FAILURE... Hopefully you will hear with an open mind when I get to discuss this issue also.
Sergeant, unfortunately I have done my homework. I have had to stake my career and reputation on what I say. I will stand by it. I, too, pray for your son and all the other sons and daughters. Today I received a phone call from another Marine (Viet Nam) father who had researched what I said on Arts program. I have tremendous respect for him as he said: "I would personally stand between my son and any DoD injections, we've been lied to enough. All we want is the truth."
Sadly enough, the Viet Nam veterans tried to tell the Gulf War veterans. We didnt believe it could happen to us. Now the Gulf War vets are trying to tell the ones who now serve. Our voices are stilled by the DoD. Thank God for Art Bells interest in this subject and though he makes no value judgements, he allows me to say the truth as I know it in my heart. I volunteered for D/S because I wanted to care for the military that served in the war. Nothing has changed. I will continue to tell this story as long as I have breath. I was sick and now Im better, I will not forget where Ive been as long as I know others are sick. Im still caring for those men and women, most of whom are old enough to be my children. There has to be a voice. I am truly sorry you are offended but the stakes are just too high.
Where would we be if someone had not spoken out. I need not remind you of the twenty year Agent Orange stonewall.
I categorically do not believe the DoD/VA has the best interests of our servicemen at heart or they would have treated the illness 200,000 of them now suffer from. I as a nurse want only one thing...................treatment and no further experimentation!
I must say I am more thoroughly OFFENDED by a DoD/VA who would allow our men and women to suffer and die from these illnesses and allow it to be transferred into the general population. You see, Sergeant, I stay up nights getting the phone calls from the Vets who are dying or who want to take their life because they are in so much pain, I don't want your son or any of the others to make that call to me. I've talked to and communicated to over 7,500 GW veterans. That's all I need to know about what the DoD is doing (or not doing) for them.
Our servicemenbers deserve every veteran and every red blooded American to be marching in front of every CNN outlet in this country and shouting: "When will you tell the truth?". You see, the Pentagon loves us to get side tracked over sexual harassment charges and morale issues, meanwhile our military are dying.
Why are people not trying to find ways to help in this cause? This is not Joyce Riley's cause--it is the cause of the American people to show our allegiance for those whos only crime was being willing to die for their country. I am only one person and I've exhausted all I have (over $40,000). I'm putting everything on the line. Don't misunderstand, I'm not complaining, I would do it all over again, because there is no possession in this world that compares with the life of one Gulf War veteran.
Please look into all the issues surrounding the GW vets and perhaps you can become an active participant rather than a spectator shouting plays from the side lines. Ive been thinking a lot about how much do we we really mean Semper Fi?
Thank you for the opportunity to fully express myself. I hope this addresses your objections.
For God and Country,
Joyce Riley, R.N., BSN.
Charles E. Johnson Sr. wrote:
I served 13 years on active duty in the USMC and have a son who is currently on active duty in the USMC. I was temporarily retired in Nov 88 for medical reasons and received my final discharge the day Desert Storm began.
The things I am about to say are based in fact and I hope you'll take the time not only to read this in it's entirety but to give due consideration to the points I make.
First, Sadaam Huesein has and will continue to develop weapons of mass destruction to include biological weapons. He has shown a particularly Hitleresque evil in his willingness to use such weapons. Reference the scud missile attacks on noncombatant civilian populations during the gulf war, and the murder of thousands of his own people. If you really have any doubt as to why our troops are being inoculated against anthrax this should clear it up for you.(It's not too far a leap to guess that our intelligence believes he has developed and is willing to use anthrax as a weapon.)
Second, the document you make reference to when you say the vaccine may not work is nearly four years old and comes from a senate report which only states that it hasn't been tested in cases where anthrax was contracted by inhalation. No kidding. The last time I checked no one had ever contracted the disease in this manner. Three things bear consideration at this point:
1. Even without Sadaam Huesein, anthrax is very much a threat to health in that region of the world for all the same reasons those people have been fighting each other for so long(i.e. political, religious etc.etc.)
2. The function of vaccines is to develop immunity in the body before contraction of the disease. Once the body has developed immunity it doesn't much matter how such a weapon might be deployed. As a Registered Nurse I would have thought this would be obvious to you.
3. With the exception of legitimate medical reasons(such as allergy) there is no waiver or dispensation from the requirement of obedience to lawful orders in the United States Military. As a Commissioned Officer I would have thought that would be obvious to you as well.
While I applaud your efforts to help the Gulf War Veterans in seeking answers to their legitimate search for truth and relief, I find your remarks concerning anthrax vaccinations to be a great disservice to those who serve now and may well have to face an enemy who is willing and capable of using weapons of mass destruction against them.
Politics be damned! My son and countless thousands like him will probably be on the ground in Iraq in the near future. Anything that can be done to ensure the safe return of those men and women to the families they love and who love them, and the homes they've worked so hard for and most richly deserve MUST BE DONE! I would pray under a full moon, standing in a bucket of Holy water with garlic in one hand and wolfbane in the other while pissing on a live sparkplug if I thought it would help my son make it home alive and well.
In fact, to not do everything in our power to that end would be down right criminal. Isn't that exactly the point you've been trying to make concerning the people who had to go there last time?!?!
I do not understand, and am thoroughly offended by your attitude in this matter. Further, I believe you have seriously damaged your credibility and thus your ability to help the Gulf War Vets. I hope you'll give this a lot more thought.
Charles E. Johnson Sr.
Former Staff Sergeant of U.S. Marines
American Gulf War Veteran's Association
3506 Highway 6 South #117
"There can be a million lies but there is only ONE Truth"
Gulf War Vets Home Page.