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A Gulf in Reality

All of the following letters arose from a single column I wrote, “No More Gulf War Syndromes.” It got posted on a few bulletin boards and next thing you know, I was under a “shock and awe” attack from allegedly sick alleged vets. This is not to say there aren’t any sick Gulf vets, a point I’ve repeatedly made clear. But they’re not the ones writing me the nasty letters. In the past, I would occasionally ask somebody to fax me part of their medical records, which would prove if they truly had the symptoms they complained of. I would also sometimes ask for their unit name so that I could verify that their unit ever served in the Gulf or whether they even wore a uniform since they left the Cub Scouts. In some of the letters, I left my request in for you. What I’ve found is what I’ve long suspected. Nobody will fax medical records, for the obvious reason that they have nothing in those records to support their case or they have no VA hospital records at all. (One person gave me something in electronic format, yet not only does that hardly substitute for written, signed, and stamped pages but it actually showed he was quite healthy!) A few people did provide unit names and I believe they at least were in the military. But it’s clear that the vast majority of these alleged Gulf vets are not vets, or if they are vets never got near the Gulf, and none have the symptoms they claim they have. This is hardly a new phenomenon, as Burkett and Whitley point out in their book about Vietnam vets, Stolen Valor. As I told one writer, there are too many scam artists on this issue for me to simply take anybody's word for anything. Everybody is a healthy non-vet until proven otherwise.

Dear Mr. Fumento,

This is regarding the unfounded statement [sic] you made on 10 April, 2003.

You are clearly an [sic] uninformed narrow minded person. Either you don't know anything about what your [sic] talking about or you don't want to know.

I am one of the Veterans [sic] with ALS ....more than twice the normal rate of occurrence is significantly more than ''slightly higher'' as you would put it. Further more those Vets [sic] with ALS are well below the 'normal' age of onset of 50 yrs.

Scientific Studies [sic] have proven that there is damage to the brain & brain stem consistent with exposure's [sic] to chemical warfare agents.

I was sick in Kuwait and was hospitalized with acute symptoms of sarin nerve gas poisoning for 4 day's.

Merck Home medical guide [sic] even mention's [sic] nerve gas's [sic] used in chemical warfare can cause damage to the nervous system...

Mike [omitted]

Dear Mike:

So the “Merck Home medical guide” as you call it says that nerve gas can cause nervous system problems. Now that’s a revelation! Since nobody was hospitalized during the Gulf war with acute symptoms of nerve gas poisoning, it logically stands to reason that you weren’t either. Regarding ALS, of course the Gulf vets with ALS had onset well below the age of 50 years – virtually all of them were less than 50 years old! How could it be otherwise? Finally, you have displayed ignorance of statistics and epidemiology. A doubling can in fact be a “slight increase” when the numbers involved are extremely low, as indeed they are here. This is called “lack of statistical power.” For example, we know that one in four Americans will contract cancer. But because odds don’t spread themselves evenly, you may get one family of four with no cancers and one family of four with two cancers. That second family would have double the expected incidence of cancer. But because we’re dealing with a grand total of four people, there is no statistical significance. Of the second study, Dr. Daniel Drachman, a neurologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, said "the data are not sufficiently clear to convince me that there is a true effect,” adding, according to Reuter’s news service, “that they do not show that the servicemen who were in the Gulf War had a significantly higher risk of ALS. The statistical analysis revealed that that there is a less than 95% probability that those who were deployed had higher incidence of ALS, he pointed out.”

Case closed.

Michael Fument

You have the arrogance to imply that I'm ignorant?

Well, I can't say I agree with the "arrogance" part, but the "ignorance" label, as you've demonstrated, is very much deserved.

Michael Fumento

[He responded with 145 words of blather in an incredible number of fonts and sizes. I’ll have to check the “Merck Home medical guide” to see what mental disorder that indicates. He also reiterated, in huge letters, that he was indeed treated for sarin exposure but didn’t offer up any medical records to show it, nor did he respond to my request to identify his unit. He did say he was attached to a Special Forces Unit and SEAL unit, which is a common sign of a fake vet. (Fake vets never claim to have been cooks or to have worked in maintenance units.) I subsequently received another forty (40) emails from him, all purged without reading. Then I received the following from somebody that he had CC’d.]

Mike: Don't waste your time and affect your blood pressure over this turkey. [These guys] have their own agenda that has no particular relationship with the truth. We can only hope that in the fullness of time the root of their hypocrisy will be exposed. Meantime, Mike, carry on!

Mr. Fumento,

I wrote you several years back concerning your obvious bias and ignorance concerning what has become known as "Gulf War Illness"/"Gulf War Syndrome"/Persian Gulf Illness". The studies you cite are part of a greater scheme of disinformation perpetrated by our own government agencies. The examples you cite such as : [sic] hair loss, gaying hair [gaying?], muscle cramping are a far cry from what many of us suffer from.

[114 words omitted.]

If the facts are not evident, then why has the DoD refused to declassify all documents relating to the conflict?

[113 words omitted.]

There is a great lie about the first Gulf War, perpetuated by the DoD, its entities and individuals such as yourself. It is individuals such as yourself who are a great disservice to the military and our country. I challenge you to receive blood from me or any of those of us who are truly victims of chemical/biological/radiological exposures.

[256 words omitted.]

There is simply so much more,... [sic] but I longer want to elaborate or educate you any more. I think you get the point by now. Don't make statements or write articles on things pertaining to the Gulf War...unless you walked in our boots...especially those of us who were combat arms and /or also on the front lines going through Iraq and ending up in a living nightmaress [sic] hell amongst the thick clouds of noxious air surrounding the burning oil fields.

Robert Jones
[alleged unit omitted]

Dear Mr. Jones:

Yeah, yeah. The only things you left out were UFOs and the Trilateral Commission. My column spoke for itself. You may or may not be disabled. You may or may not be a vet. But on the whole, GW vets are healthier than they should be.

Michael Fumento

At first I was going to completely ignore your e-mail comments, but after pondering I decided to respond one final time. You remarked that your commentary said it all, for your information you are a laughing stock in the eyes of the Gulf War veteran community. I never mentioned Trilateral Commission or UFO's, nor did I intend on going into your little world of "conspiracy theories". I do have a question though, what did you mean by your statement: "But on the whole. GW vets are healthier than they should be"?

Isn't this contradictory to your commentary? I find it extremely difficult to understand how a supposed Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute can be so ignorant and self serving. You must be a chicken-hawk....like many serving in our current administration, never having served in the military or seen combat action. Don't question my service or my patriotism for one second, I spent 20 years in the Army, including 6 in the 82nd Airborne Division. I will expose you for the worthless human you are. Its [sic] easy to sit behind a computer and continue deceiving readers with your disinformation campaign. In the end run [Sorry, wrong metaphor.], the truth will prevail and you and others like you will cower and no longer have a life. The END!!

Robert Jones

Regarding my alleged "laughing stock" status, I'm glad to know that I have finally found a single individual who speaks for 700,000 vets. Tell me, when did they elect you? Half of my entire column was devoted to describing studies showing that Gulf vets are as healthy, if not healthier, than vets that didn't deploy to the Gulf. The thrust of the commentary was that because of this, there is no evidence of GWS. How you find a contradiction in that is beyond me; but then, it's also beyond me how 700,000 people elected you their spokesman without my knowing it. As to the chicken hawk stuff, you're wrong twice over. The definition of a chicken hawk is somebody who is very pro-war but never served in the military. My piece had nothing to do with being pro- or anti-war. More to the point, I served four years in the Army from 1978-1982. If you could read you would know that, because it was posted at the bottom of my column. I could question both your service and your patriotism, especially since anybody who promoted GWS before the second Iraq war was playing right into Saddam's hands. You, in essence, are a Saddamite. Add to this you enjoy scaring the living c--- out of the men and women who bravely served us in the Gulf. On the whole that makes you a pretty wretched excuse for a human being, doesn't it?

Michael Fumento

Re: You, Sir, Are a Moron.

Squalene, an illegal adjuvant, used in vaccinations for the first gulf war is the cause of Gulf War Syndrome. I recommend you research "squalene, Pam ASA [sic] PhD, ASA [sic] study or the Univ [sic] of CaliforniaSan [sic] Francisco study on brain damage among gulf war [sic] veterans" on your choice of search engines. Why so many symptoms [sic]? Squalene was intended to 'boost' [sic] the immune system. The opposite has happened as immune systems are being weakened and destroyed. The government refuses to share their information with private researchers. The government is seeking permission to destroy all of their gathered speciemens [sic] taken from gulf war/gulf war [sic] era veterans. Additionally the VA reports that 700,000 medical records of GW veterans have been "lost". How convient [sic].

[omitted] Cliburn.

Dear Mr. Cliburn:

You have only supported my case. Pam Asa’s findings comprised a tiny number of vets and were replicated only once – by her! Your explanation of how squalene could cause harm makes no sense at all and it speaks volumes that you think it does. The rest of your letter is nothing but conspiracy theory. Most importantly, the VA never reported that 700,000 medical records of GW veterans have been “lost.” Either you fabricated that or somebody else did and you didn’t bother to check to see if it were true. How convenient.

Michael Fumento

Subject: You Are a Complete Moron

Whos [sic] ppayroll [sic] are you on? OSAGWI< DHSD

You are a complete moron.

Subject: Totally Sick

Body is generating new calcium in all my joints.......WRAMC [Walter Reed Army Medical Center] ...has no explanation...........SAPHO SYNDRONE [sic] = WRAMC Evaluation........68 prople [sic] in the entire world........give me a break..........will end up from a cain [sic] to a wheel-chair [sic] .............Makes me mad and sad !!

Makes me confused as heck!

Re: You Might Consider

i've [sic] been reading what you have to write about gulf war syndrome [sic]. maybe [sic] you can explain why, at the age of 34, i [sic] have crippling arthritis, irregular heartbeat, no energy and a list of other things that no doctor can explain, nor do i [sic] have a history of it in my family. if [sic] you have the answer to it, i'd [sic] love to hear it, since i [sic] can't play with my kids like i [sic] used to, hold down a productive job and the like.

It's called chance. Disease does not spread itself evenly and most non-infectious illnesses cannot be explained. Why did I have arthritis in both hips in my 30s? Was it from watching Wolf Blitzer in 1991?

By the way, I am now asking all alleged Gulf vets to provide me with the name of their unit and when they served in it so that I can sort out true vets from all the fakes who write to me. I can do a background check in no time. Please provide this information, thank you.

Michael Fumento

[He provided some general information which was useless in identifying his unit.]

Depleted Cranium

Mr. Fumento,

A single depleted uranium shell fired from an M1 Abrams would pop the turret right off even the best Iraqi tanks, often causing other enemy tank crews to simply surrender.  
Sir where did you get your facts concerning G.W.S. [sic]?? In 1991 a doctor by the name of Major,Dr.[sic] Doug Ropie,was given the job of cleaning up the depleated [sic] uranium that littered the desert from the last Gulf War.The uranium you see, is released whenever we use our weapons,from smart bombs to tracer rounds.He found this job, unable to be accomplished.Why,because depleated [sic] uranium takes four and a half, billion [sic] years, thats [sic] right billion years to deplete.Dr.Ropie,reported this investgation [sic] and was told to Ignore [sic] the medical problems associated with D.U.. [sic] The Army knows and knew of the hazards of these uranium muinitions [sic] and still has a standing order to Ignore [sic] the health issues with D.U.Dr.Ropie,quickly came down with health problems and still has them to this day ,as well as every assistant he used.More troops where exposed to chemicals and gases at a chemical depot ordered destroyed by Than [sic] Gen. Swartzkoff [sic]. The name of that place was called Kamasia [sic],The [sic] reason I giv [sic]

[omitted] Albano

Dear Mr. Albano:

It seems that it’s not just the Army ignoring your hero, Dr. Ropie. I did a Google search on him and found no mentions. I used another search engine, alltheweb.com, and found five mentions of him – all in Polish. Meanwhile many real studies have found no risk from depleted uranium, including the one discussed here about an investigation by the UK Royal Society in which only tank occupants hit directly by a DU shell were considered at risk. That provides little support for risk from shells lying in the desert. Moreover, the Iraqis never had DU shells and moreover failed to knock out a single Abrams tank in the first Gulf War. But other than that, your letter made perfect sense.

Michael Fumento

YOU Are a Bastard

and a loser, go back to the hole you came out of, your information on GWI is provided by the people to whom you kiss ASS. GET A LIFE.

Gulf vet

I have one, thank you. The question is, do you? In fact, are you even a Gulf vet? Please provide quite specifically which unit you served with in the war so that I can verify you are not just another fake slacker seeking attention.

Michael Fumento

Another “Syndrone” Victim


[omitted] BLEVINS

Dear Mr. Blevins,

Insofar as exhaustive testing has shown that DU does not cause cancer, it did not cause your cancer. That assumes you even have cancer. And it assumes you ever served in the Gulf. Could you please provide, quite specifically, which unit you served in so that I can verify that you are a true GW vet and not somebody who is disgracing those who really did serve? Thank you.

Michael Fumento

Exiled to Alaska

To Mr. Mike Fumento:

I have made a point to read your print and get to know your philosophy and your style. You consistently write with a contemptuous tone. You humorously and conveniently take what information you want for your writing purposes, completely void of responsible and constructive counters to validate that which you demean. You recklessly criticize other scientific professionals with no regard of professional ethics or a respect of a balance of professional opinions.

You evidently do not care a wit for the sacrifices, pain, and suffering over a hundred thousand families have had to endure to find any sort of relief for these Gulf War maladies that you mock with such analogies as athletes feet and genital herpes. But hey! It makes for good dynamic print. It pays your beer tab as long as you can write critically and be on the easy popular side of a controversy. Kind of like making fun of fat people, they are easy targets [sic]. It's your opinion. And it is my opinion that you are the stuff that tyrants are made of.

The GW medical conditions do not warrant the cheap profile which you describe with amusement. These Gulf War ill veterans did not get blown up, or shot down, but they are just as deserving of respect and gratitude as any other veteran who has served their country, paid their dues, and find themselves messed up and messed over. I can appreciate that you find it easy and satisfying to kick a man when he is down, or that sick people are unattractive. Fortunately, there are people in the world who are humanitarians. These are the people that find ways to help, not hurt, humiliate nor scorn.

If chanting could make GW illnesses go away, more people would have joined you to dismiss it, including those who want to live a full, healthy life. Go throw your writing-grenades where it might do some good. Leave the wounded alone. But then what would you do for a living if you could not write in your belligerent style about the unknown?

I know.....short writings are safe and effective enough, like sound bites. It is unlikely that we can look to you for accurate perception.....you are good for hyper words like athletes feet and genital herpes, it goes good with sloppy science.

L. A. McClure
Alaska Gulf War Syndrome Referrals

If by that you mean that I make sanctimonious self-serving self-important parasites like yourself look like, well, sanctimonious self-serving self-important parasites, then we agree.

Michael Fumento

Another Victim of the B-2 Stealth Virus


List My [sic] Medical Diagnoses:
[I’m temporarily stopping the sics at this point.]
Gulf War Syndrome 799.9
Hypercoagulation syndrome 289.9
Classic Fibromyalgia 729.1
Non-Cardiac Chest Pain (T Wave Abnormality/Abnormal ECG) 786.52
Chronic Obstructive Sleep Apnea 786.09.
Esopphagitis/Gastritis - 530.1/535.5
Duodenitis/Gastric Ulcers 535.6/531.9
Left Max Polyp Minimal Mucosal Thickening by CT Head - 3488
Bladder Trigone Inflammation - 5959
Myalgia and Myositis NOS - 7291
Iron Defic Anemia NOS - 2809
Photophobia - 368.13
Convergence Innsufficiency - 378.83
Macular Degeneration - 362.50
Dominate Drusen - 377.21
Doyne's Honeycomb - 363.20
Mycoplasma Infection - 041.81
Q Fever Infection - 083.0
Epstein-Barr Virus Infection - 075
Demyelinating Disorder - 341.9 (neurodegenerative diseases)
Polyneuropathy (Multi) - 356.9
Subsegmental Atelectasis - 518.0 (Al Eskan/Lung Disease)
Pulmonary fibrosis - 508.9
PTSD - 308.3
Cystitis Cystica: Cystitis Glandularis -595.89
Lumbar Spodylosis - 721.3/756.11
Facet Syndrome - 724.8
Degen. scaral Disc - 722.52
Thoracic/Lumbar/Radic -724.4
Vascular Headache - 784.0
Myofascial Syndrome - 729.1
Cervical Spondylosis - 721.0
Unknown for Unspecified viral meningitis - 047.9 (To late to test)
Unspecified viral infection (Stealth Virus) -079.9
Brucella Infection - 0239 (Assumed Negative)
Lyme Disease - 088.81 (Assumed Negative)
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever -082.0 (Assumed Negative)
Typhus -107 (Assumed Negative)

Cervical/Lumbar Diagnoses 10/11/02
1. HNP-Cervical 722.0
3. Lumbar disc disease 722.93
2. Cervical radiculopathy 723.4
4. Radicuiopathy-thora/Lumbosac 724.4

MRI Cervical
Exam Date: 9/26/02 Med. Rec. #: XXXXX
EXAM DESCRIPTION: MRI of the cervical spine.
CLINICAL HISTORY: Herniated nucleus pulposus.
TECHNIQUE: Standard protocol was used.
FINDINGS: The vertebral bodies are normal in height signal l intensity and alignment. There are no fractures or subluxations.
The C2-3 level is unremarkable.
At C3-4, there is a. large left paracentral disc herniation with an extruded fragment extending into the left neural foramen. There is contact and deformity of the cervical cord and significant neural forarminal narrowing is present.
The C4-5, C5-6 and C6-7 levels are unremarkable. The cervical cord is of normal size and signal intensity There is no evidence of tonsillar ectopia.
1. Large left. paracentral disc herniation at C3-4 with an extruded fragment
extending into the neural foramen. There is contact and displacement of the
cervical cord and significant neural foraminal narrowing is present on the
left at C3-4.
MRI Lumbar:
EXAM DESCRIPTION: MRI of the lumbar spine.
CLINICAL HISTORY: Herniated nucleus pulpous.
TECHNIQUE: Standard protocol was used.
FINDINGS: Ver tebral bodies are normal in height., signal intensity and
alignment Disc height and signal intensity are well maintained. The L1-2,
L2-3, L 3-4 and L4-5 levels are unremarkable.
At L5-S1, there is a small central disc bulge with minimal deformation of the
ventral thecal sac. There is no evidence of nerve root contact or
The conus is normal in appearance. No gross paraspinal soft tissue abnormalities are detected.
1. Small central disc bulge at L5-S1 with minimal deformation of the ventral
thecal sac.
The remainer of the study was unremarkable.
Interlaminar: C6-7 x 2 Bilateral

I really hate to break this to you, but you’ve just sent me a very thorough examination of a very healthy man along with a few things you seem to have tossed in yourself like “Stealth Virus.” I guess the reason I’ve never heard of that is because, well, they don’t call it “stealth” for nothing. You have a slight bulge in one disk, but that’s about it. The other things you list say clearly that you are negative for them or they simply have identification numbers listed alongside. Those numbers are the ICD-9 codes that essentially pigeon-hole illnesses, allowing insurance companies to pay a certain amount for the treatment and to be sure that the treatment provided is appropriate. Your code of 799.9 refers not to Gulf War Syndrome, which has no code because it doesn't exist, but to "Ill defined and unknown causes of morbidity and mortality - other ill-defined and unknown causes of morbidity and mortality – other unknown and unspecified cause."

You made up the “Gulf War Syndrome” line because the VA recognizes no such diagnoses. I’m personally in good health, but you’re in even better health. Thanks for making my case better than I ever could have.

Michael Fumento

If you call being a VA rating [sic] at 190 percent healthy, I wonder what you classified [sic] as a sick veteran. Demyelinating Disorder - 341.9 (neurodegenerative diseases) is associated to [sic] MS... FYI, I guess you will continue to support the right wing conseratives [sic] and there [sic] agenda and do your best to screw the little guys into dust... what is the bottom line with you, do you hate veterans that much... The diagnoses I posted was not cooked up, they are actual diagnoses listed with my senator and congressman... Are you a medical doctor too, i [sic] READ YOUR ARTICLES AND I THINK YOU ARE A SELF-CENTERED HALLOW [sic]MAN.... IN THE END THE ONLY THING YOU HAVE TO FEAR IS GOD... NONE OF US WILL MISS JUDGEMENT DAY...

Now I’ve got even more bad news for you. It’s really rather difficult to be rated by the VA at more than 100 percent disabled. In fact, it’s mathematically impossible. Therefore you did not receive a 190 percent disability rating, any more than you were evaluated for Gulf War Syndrome.”

Michael Fumento

Dear Mr. Fumento:

Okay, so everyone claiming is wrong. But:

Now what about that small group who found themselves investigating a possible storage place for Biological (etc.), etc. containers. Will you be willing to have the VA follow up on them and see what happens?

It wasn’t biological weapons they found, but rather chemical ones. The site was Khamisiyah, and all soldiers involved in the demolition of that arms cache have been the subject of special studies by the VA and continue to receive special follow-up treatment to this day.

During GW I, our guns did hit storage and exploded [sic] the contents near where the troops were at the time. It has been documented. And yet, when someone, documented as being there at the time, says he has problems as a result, no research is being done.

Wrong again. You’re not getting you information from the VA; you’re getting it from a GWS conspiracy website.

Why do I say that? Simple. We now have the second murderer who believes he was not well trained and states he was there. One has already been executed and the other faces it. It sounds like a way to get around being found guilty. However, every state has, or should have a reference to insanity in their sentencing guidelines.

You got it. A murderer who doesn’t want to be executed is going to say anything and everything to prevent it. Would YOU let sniper John Lee Malvo off the hook because he claims (despite his medical records) that he was gassed in the Gulf?

It took a long time to recognize Agent Orange. How long will it take before we also recognize how many of these soups can cause long lasting [sic] problems for the person?

I’ve written extensively on Agent Orange, including a whole chapter in my book Science Under Siege. As with Gulf vets, those Vietnam vets with the very highest exposure to Agent Orange and TCDD dioxin are as healthy as they should be for their age. The last assessment found a tiny increase in diabetes, but that apparent increase will probably disappear with the next assessment just as the ALS-Gulf vet increase disappeared.

How many in that survey were actually near the oil wells. How many were actually fighting on the ground. That is the only ratio that really counts. Adding any others, those who stayed in Saudi Arabia and other places and never got near Kuwait, negates the survey. And, I don't care how extensive it was.

Joan [omitted]
Minnesota USA

Actually, exposure to burning oil fires was the very first potential GWS causative agent investigated. The persons with the greatest exposure were not vets but the cappers, the people putting out the fires in Kuwait rig by rig. Again, they are healthy as anybody else.

That you think a study involving 650,000 Gulf vets and an equal number of non-Gulf vets is negated because of post-Gulf War service shows the absurdity of your position. You don’t care how extensive it was because it doesn’t serve your purpose. Sorry, but medical authorities don’t buy your line of thinking. Science is based on empirical evidence, not on wishful thinking.

Michael Fumento

Fumento as the Font of All Evil

So you think GWS is a MYTH? Here is what I think:

Brian Martin, fraud extraordinaire, famous for his claim that GWS gave him glow-in-the-dark vomit.  
I think that reporters like yourself [sic] are why we are in this mess to begin with. If you knew when to keep your nose out of other's business, and your mouth shut, the world would be a better place.

There would have been no onslaught of School [sic] shootings because so many of our kids would not think of this on their own.

There would be not be so many kidnappings because the idiots in your field are the ones that give people ideas.

I heard stories during the beginning of Gulf War II telling us how and when We [sic] planned to attack IRAQ [sic] and Saddam.

I do not know whose payroll you are on, but until you have walked a mile in my shoes, and those of other Gulf War Veterans [sic], I suggest you stick to something you may know about. Fantasies?? Maybe one of the Tabloids [sic] could use you.

I am a 38 year old [sic] Gulf War Veteran [sic] that suddenly had a problem with every vital organ in my body immediately upon leaving the Gulf War Theater [sic]. I do not think Uncle Sam would have even considered enrolling someone as unhealthy as myself into the Army.

It just burns my ass everytime someone such as yourself pops up and offers the VA more aid and justification for not helping us. I would love to have a healthy body again. I know that my labs, X-rays, Cat Scans, MRIs, and many other tests do not reflect something made up or of popular belief.

If in your genius, you can figure out what else could have caused all of my illnesses, I am sure we would all love to hear it. Until then, I hope no one else actually pays you to write this crap.

Anna [omitted]

Dear Anna,

I’m very sorry about your ass. Have you tried Preparation H? In the meantime, why don’t you try to convince me by faxing some of your medical records to me? Write again to ask for my fax number or I’ll have to assume you’re just another faker who got no closer to Iraq than Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Michael Fumento

My medical records are none of your business, and you can assume whatever you want to about me and how close I got to Iraq. Third of all [What happened to first and second?], you are not a person that I would care to convince. Changing your mind is not my mission. Obviously, you have a one track [sic] mind and are not worth my effort. I simply wanted you to know that if you don't know the real truth, keep your mouth shut.

Dear Anna,

Better to have a one-track mind that an eight-track mind. In any case, you are obviously neither sick, nor a vet. Thank you for your forthright dishonesty.

I will waste no more time on you since you are a moron.
I hope you one day feel the illness we all not [sic] and some Dr. [sic] Calls you a liar.

[But she wrote to me again.]

You are a very sick person Mr. Furnento's [sic]. Are you a MD [sic]?
Are you a Vet? Or just and [sic] Ass?
Who [sic] do you work for? Or just [sic] a self made [sic] Ass [sic]?
I needed a mission in life and maybe you are just the person to put me on that mission. "People who hurt our US Veteran [sic][sic] and why do we put up with them" [sic] Maybe that would be a great title of a book or just your name.

A Character Assinator

Mr Fuemento [sic],

What makes you the supreme expert when it comes to Gulf War Illness? Do you have a medical background, a degree in medicine, were you in the Gulf during the war or after, have you interviewed and studied hundreds of sick Gulf War Vets [sic]? What are your credentials, aside from a possible degree in Journalism [sic] and a caustic, cynical, warped sense of values?

Be assured that from the responces [sic] I have seen you give my fellow sick vets, I thoroughly expect that you will not, or more properly; cannot find it within yourself to provide logical, rational and unemotional responses. Your usual propensity to resort to name calling [sic] and impuning [sic] the character of those who have written is pueril [sic] and only serves to weaken any shred of an argument you may have. You are your own worst enemy, Bud. And to save you the trouble of character assanition [Does that mean kicking somebody in the butt?] in my case, let me give you a bit of my background.

I attended the Air Force Academy, was comissioned [sic] a second Leiutenant [sic] in 1965 and as a young capitan [sic] was sent to Viet Nam where I flew 66 combat missions. I attained the rank of Lt Col in my thirty year [sic] career and served over seven months in the Gulf War. I was medically retired in 1993, due to my debilitating symptoms associated with the Gulf War Illness. I am rated 100% disabled by the VA, (which you must know is nearly impossible to get without solid proof of serious service related symptoms), and have not been able to hold a job since 1993 due to a long history of hour long seizures and other Gulf War Illness symptoms. There is more, but I know you are not interested. I have only given you this information for you to compare to your "credentials" when it comes to the Gulf War Illness. How do you stack up even against the most surperficial [sic] account of my experiences all of which are factual and substantiated by records in my hands? Not very well I expect.

I don't expect a rational, thoughtful answer, so please feel free to stay in character and attack my record, my illness and certainly throw in some character assanition [sic] and some name calling for good measure.

Robert (omitted)
Lt Col, USAF (Medically Retired)

Dear Robert,

Sorry, but a former captain and a former lieutenant knows how to spell the words, whereas you do not. I congratulate you on having served a full seven months in a war that lasted 44 days. You’re truly a special person, Bob. But you're not a former anything; you're just another fake vet and fake sick person. And there’s a big difference between “not being able to hold a job” and refusing to do so.

Michael Fumento

Congratulations, Caught [sic] in your own trap. You stayed in character and resorted to character assanation [sic] and belittlement. [Lots of misspelled words omitted.] So who is the fake here? Look in the mirror and you will see him. I didn't rise to the rank of Lt Col [sic] and hold the highest of national security clearances by being a fake.

I think you should now turn your singular talents to debunking the SARS disease. There is a lot of productive fodder there. You could be calling people fakes and phonies on an international basis. Just think of it!!! [Actually, I had already written a column on the SARS hype and hysteria.]

Robert the Phoney [sic]

Dear Robert,

Maybe we should just leave it at “I didn’t rise to the rank of Lt Col,” because probably the closest you got was the time you walked into a pawn shop and bought a used set of insignia to show off to the girls. Personally, I’m not impressed. Here’s my fax number: [omitted]. Why don’t you fax me your honorable discharge certificate? And, to show you’re not faking being sick why don’t you fax over a couple of sheets of your VA medical records? Or why is it I get the idea that like all the other Gulf vet fakes and frauds, you’re going to get all indignant and refuse to send that which you know doesn’t exist.

Michael Fumento

Snail Mail

pack your bags and go to France

I don't care much for the French after the repeated stunts they pulled to keep us from going back into Iraq and finishing the job, but at least it's a lot better than where you live – North Korea.

Michael Fumento

Gaseous in the Gulf: This is probably the leading conspiracy theory book on GWS.  
After the way you put down disabled Gulf War Veterans [sic] your puny ass should be sent to North Korea. You are a disgrace to the uniform.

Obviously you never read the piece, probably because you can't read. Nevertheless:

1. It didn't put down disabled Gulf vets, it merely said no vets were disabled by a disease that doesn't exist.

2. Please don't call me a disgrace to a uniform you never wore. That is, unless you want to precisely identify the unit in which you served so that I can verify your alleged veteran status.

3. Say “Hello!” to your buddy Kim Jong Il for me.

Michael Fumento

I read it and it stinks. You are an ass hole. You have never been in a combat zone and are not qualified to render a medical opinion. You are pathetic. I saw your pic and can see why you couldn't make it in the military. Fat ass, OJ Simpson look-alike! I'll pee in your boots, asswipe.

Tell me your unit name, or I'll know that you're just another fraud, cheat, and liar.

Michael Fumento

fat ass

Touchy-Feely Beats Facts Any Day of the Week

A young man I knew and taught from kindergarten-6th grade who never wanted to be anything but a soldier came home from Desert Storm a ruined shell, and had a deformed child. These things did not happen to him after parachuting into Panama in whatever hostility that was. You can site all the statistics you want; your article was cruel and uncaring and I wish you had the experience of knowing my friend and witnessing what happened to him. I hope no one in your family has such a fate.


Dear Anne,

So let me get this straight, telling 700,000 people they have or may contract a disease that doesn't exist is what you call "kind and caring"? Telling vets that because they served their nation they must never dare to have children, that's also "kind and caring?" Where did you learn about kindness and caring, from ol' Saddam himself?

Michael Fumento

One Out of Three ain’t bad; I’m not Particularly Tall

You are a sad pathetic little man to even have the gall to say there is no such thing as GWS.

As a rule, it's not usually a good idea to piss off a bunch of people who were trained to kill.

Are you a Veteran [sic]? Have you served your country? I doubt it. You should be thanking us for fighting for your right to free press, so you can publish such drivel.

[omitted] Harmon, proud and sick Gulf War Veteran [sic].

Dear Mr. Harmon:

Once again, an alleged Gulf vet and alleged victim shows he hasn’t even bothered to read my article, which states clearly at the bottom where and when I served. As a rule, I’ve found that virtually nobody who writes such vicious letters to me is actually a vet, so the “trained to kill” stuff doesn’t exactly spook me – especially insofar as I was special ops and you should at least know what that means. You never fought for a thing in your life except for honor and sympathy of which you deserve neither. But prove me wrong, Mr. Harmon, why not fax me your honorable discharge certificate and maybe a few pages of your medical records? You ask, and I’ll provide the number. Here’s guessing I’ll get nothing back from you but more bitter vitriol at having your fake status taken away from you.

Michael Fumento

Fumento, Give me the number, I'll provide a copy of my honorable discharde [sic], and what medical records would you need? I've been to all the specialists inside the VA and in the civilian sector. They like to use words like chronic, mysterious, and unknown etiology.

They will come with a warning that they are for your eyes only, and any information that you could use for illegal purposes will be blacked out, just like the military does to us.

As for Special Ops, I'm sure I know more than you think. You are just a sad little pathetic man with nothing else to do besides try to discredit sick veterans. Your turn now little boy.

You’ve “been to all the specialists inside the VA and in the civilian sector.” I’m quite impressed! How many per day does that come out to? My fax number is [omitted]. Send the "discharde" as you call it, along with whatever medical papers you think prove your case. Don't worry; the fax machine has plenty of paper.

Michael Fumento

[No, gentle reader, he didn’t send me anything. Haven’t you learned yet?]

Depleted Intelligence

Mr. Fumento;

I noticed no mention of Depleted Uranium [sic] in your article on non-existent Gulf War Syndrome. Can I take that to indicate that the radiation of such heavy metal has no consequence when atomized and inhaled as well as in its other means of distribution and contact?

I'm not necessarily in dispute with your claims, yet your failure to mention DU does raise a red flag. I just feel that if you are employed by or intellectually predisposed to advance the governments perspective regarding Veterans [sic] (which appears to beif you're not advancing our agenda, we really have little use for you - so shut up and do what you should have done if you didn't want to be a soldier and get a job) then the level of objectivity in your piece may be compromised.

Enlighten me.

[omitted] Simmons

Dear Mr. Simmons:

I stated rather clearly in my column, “Yet suspect causes have been tested and retested and keep coming up negative.” DU falls under the category of “suspect cause,” therefore I did cover it. You can put your red flag away. No, I did not mention it specifically, as I did four other suspect causes, but with perhaps two dozens alleged causes of alleged GWS, it would be rather hard to cover all the evidence against them in 750 words, would it not? Moreover, why should I have to do all your work for you? Last I checked, there were about 270 million Americans and 6.3 billion humans, of which I comprise all of one. Are you so Internet-impaired that you can’t look up articles about DU on your own that show why the theory is ridiculous..

Among other things, they don’t call the uranium “depleted” for nothing. I’m sorry, but I’m not out to advance anybody’s agenda. But I will admit to a fondness for vets, and not just because I happen to be one. They all served our country and all pledged their lives to defend it. That makes them a special breed and makes parasites like you who spread vicious myths utterly repugnant.

Michael Fumento

And I’ll Stomp and Kick Until You Admit It!

You are a disgrace to this nation, and you don't know what you're talking about! GWS is real as are other chemical illnesses. You should have to deal with it personally for a short time, so you would know what it's like!! A short time is all that it would take for you to see. Maybe someday you will know, it is not made up, IT IS REAL!

By "other chemical illnesses" do you mean "multiple chemical sensitivity," which is also a fabrication? In any case, thank you for a letter so packed with evidence and detailed reasoning.

Michael Fumento

Like Mail! Intelligent Mail!

Thank You for Telling it Like it Is

Dear Mr. Fumento,

I just read your article on the nonexistence of GWS in the Modesto Bee – and I thank you for telling it like it is!!

I am a GW vet, 36-year-old female, and I am in a motorized wheelchair now due to multiple sclerosis. Originally I was very foolish, and believed in GWS. However, I did one thing correctlyI contacted the GW liaison to the Pentagon who works at the Cleveland VA hospital. She introduced me to critical thinkingand CT helped me change my life.

The group MSVETS on Yahoo are determined to prove a connection between MS and the GW. Although I have explained time and again why there is no such connection, that they are wasting the valuable time and resources of the people trying to help them, and dragging red herrings across the path of legitimate research, they do not listen.

One of their goals is to "do for MS what the Donnelly's did for ALS". Despite repeated explanations and conversations with the group owner, Ed Butler, there is no understanding that MS is already service connected (when shown within 7 years of discharge), whereas ALS was not and now is. I have recommended numerous times that these vets contact a Pentagon liaison, have a comprehensive GW exam, or at a minimum, contact PVA (Paralyzed Veterans of America). They do nothing but sensationalize, ignoring current research and reason.

In your article you mention a follow-up study on ALS that denies correlation to the GW by demonstrating no statistically significant increase in the disease among GW vets. Will you please share the source with me? It's always good to have ammo in your clip!

Thank you, again, for a refreshing and truthful articleand your willingness to take an unpopular stance in today's societal clime. You have my deepest respect, and I will be looking for more of your articles!

Tracy M. Berkland

Dear Tracy,

You may temporarily have lost use of your legs – though with the advances I write about in my upcoming book on biotech I guarantee that unless you get run over by a Humvee first you will walk again. But you have something far more important. You've got a brain and the heart to use it, rather than simply looking for somebody to blame for life being unfair. Don't give up on the GWS nonsense, don't give up on the legs, and thank you and God bless you.

Michael Fumento

Introduction to Hate Mail and Other Hate Mail Volumes

A Review of Michael Fumento's Hate Mail

Fumento Flambé

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