Anthrax Angst Anger
Note that all these letters stemmed from a single article. These people claim they're sick and who am I to disagree.
A Civilian Army???
My son has been given the anthrax vaccination three times. He has been given many immunizations of this type multiple [sic] times. When he asks why, he is told that he doesn't have the pertinent paperwork in his file, therefore he needs the shots. The second time he received the shot, he demanded to watch the technician do the paperwork in front of him and put it in the file. Within a matter of weeks he was in having the shot again, he presumes in retaliation for his presumptuous demand.
He is concerned about adverse effects from receiving these [sic] multiple series [sic] of inoculations and immunizations [sic]. If there are adverse side effects to having the shot once, what might be the effect of having it every few months? He entered the military with high hopes for a career, but this kind of foolishness leaves him discouraged and anxious to get out. I'm delighted that he will be able to refuse this procedure the next time it is demanded of him. No, it doesn't just happen to him. This has happened to many of his friends and acquaintances in the Marines. I tell them that if they are immunized against the disease then they are immunized against the vaccination [Huh?], but I don't know that. I only hope I am right.
The military is not infallible in such matters. Surely in a civilian army there are some things, certainly not all, that can be left up to the intelligence and discretion of the individual?
Dear Mrs. Pitrone:
The answer is quite simple. First, the anthrax series comprises
six vaccinations. Your son has only had three, so he has three more to
go. Second, there is no such thing as a "civilian army." It matters not
whether you were conscripted (and we have no cons) or a volunteer, whether
you signed up for full-time active duty or are a member of the Guard or
Reserves. In the Army, many things are left up to the intelligence and
discretion of the individual. But disobeying a direct order – even
a stupid one – or putting your mission and the lives of your fellow
soldiers at risk by putting yourself needlessly at risk are not among
The answer is quite simple. First, the anthrax series comprises six vaccinations. Your son has only had three, so he has three more to go. Second, there is no such thing as a "civilian army." It matters not whether you were conscripted (and we have no cons) or a volunteer, whether you signed up for full-time active duty or are a member of the Guard or Reserves. In the Army, many things are left up to the intelligence and discretion of the individual. But disobeying a direct order – even a stupid one – or putting your mission and the lives of your fellow soldiers at risk by putting yourself needlessly at risk are not among them.
Dear Mr. Fumento,
I'll ask my son if he's gone through the series three times or just had three shots out of six. I confess I didn't know the process took that many shots, and don't know if my son knows it or not, far less if his friends know. Thank you very much for that information. Almost all soldiers, given an informed choice, will choose the vaccinations anyway. My son would and will. It is only the apparently "stupid" way the procedure is being carried out that offends him and his colleagues. They are putting their lives and well-being in the hands of the Marine Corps and a weight of perceived "stupidity" offends them.
Given that our country is perfectly willing to forget the Constitution, basing an argument on that document may be fatuous. I will anyway, being conservative. A standing army is unconstitutional. The world we live in demands that we have a standing military. We have no choice but to ignore the Constitution on this issue. However, ought we not consider the armed services we have in light of the Constitutional guarantees of freedom a militiaman would have had? I think we must, and actually do.
In past centuries it was considered inconceivable that an army of free men could win a battle, much less a war. Even in this century Hitler was said to have considered it impossible for Americans, used to living in their messy liberties, capable [sic] of winning his war. However, we did. The traditional liberal take on it is that an army of free men will always prevail over a tyrannized army, and that I hold as true.
In the context of history, we have always had a "civilian army". Where or when else could soldiers vote for their own commanders in chief? Soldiers, no matter how well indoctrinated, never lose their essential sense of their own civil rights, although they are generally content to subsume those to the necessities of the service and their country. It was one [sic] thing that most impressed me about the basic training my son had as a Marine. I expected him to [sic] broken and humiliated, to learn how to take orders, even, as you put it, stupid orders. What I didn't expect, and what impressed me, was that they were also trained and expected to still be able to think for themselves.
Dear Mrs. Pitrone:
That was a long letter that actually kind of got off course of the original theme but as an amateur military historian, I'll address one issue. Yes, we beat Hitler. But the Soviet Union alone outnumbered him in men, tanks, and artillery. We, too, outnumbered Germany in all those areas plus aircraft. Toss in Britain and it's amazing the Germans lasted as long as they did. It doesn't fit the romantic American ideal, but democracy doesn't win wars; overwhelming firepower does.
Finally, here's a letter I just received.
"That's telling them, Trooper. I'm a retired soldier (1947-1970), green beret, enlisted and commissioned infantry combat veteran of Korea and Vietnam. I say Amen."
I myself never saw combat, but what I went through in my training as a special ops soldier still gives me nightmares 20 years later. In a sane world, nobody should have to go through what I did. But it's an insane world. I didn't invent the expression, but war is hell. So, too, then, must be preparation for war.
[Posted to a newsgroup]
This is a lie. If it was an oversight, I would distribute the peer reviewed & published studies and wait for the correction. My experience with Fumento has been that he has no interest in the science. If confronted with scientific evidence he will change the subject, attack, or cut off communication.
He will never admit he has been wrong, under any burden of evidence. If he does not understand it, it just "ain't so".
I would not bother with these people [the publishers], they have no shame. Just be aware people are willing to make up things if reality is different from their beliefs or "positions".
Dear Mr. Moss:
It's too bad there aren't more rolling stones, as we certainly could use a lot less Moss. You don't even pretend to present a single fact to contradict me. The only peer-reviewed and published studies are the ones I discussed in my article. You know, like the ones that say that say the anthrax vaccination appears to be just about the safest vaccine around, and that GW vets are healthier than matched non-deployed vets and far healthier than civilians. All are hyperlinked in my piece; all go unmentioned by you. I have no record of you confronting me with anything; if I did it would surely appear in my hate mail and it does not. Perhaps you've been having telepathic conversations with me, but insofar as I don't believe in telepathy (or in any case, have seen no evidence for it), it's hardly remarkable that I haven't responded to you. Of course, perhaps you're talking about other people confronting me, but again you provide no examples. I have literally countless examples of my confrontations with Gulf War Weenies on my hate mail pages.
Finally, believe me I'm quite "aware people are willing to make up things if reality is different from their beliefs or "'positions'".
You said: "The only peer-reviewed and published studies are the ones I discussed in my article."
Not even close.
In: "Gulf War Illness-Better, Worse, or Just the Same? A Cohort Study," British Medical Journal (BMJ)13 December 2003 (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=292982)
The article begins:
"Consensus exists that service in the 1991 Persian Gulf war resulted in increased symptomatic ill health among those deployed."
Michael, before you retort that its [sic] all psychosomatic and induced by the press, why not consider contacting the authors of the studies. Hey! contact [sic] DoD! See what they say! v [sic] Also, why not belly up to the bar and put your comments in the BMJ rapid response section? That way you can pit your expertise against the scientific community? You are an expert on this, right?
Its [sic] right here. Go ahead, set the record straight.
Dear Mr. Moss,
Okay, here's the straight record. My reference to the "only" papers was in the exchange between us. It's rather bizarre that you would think that I was saying that my 1,200-word article made mention of every study ever done on either anthrax vaccinations or so-called "Gulf War Syndrome." The study you reference was based on nothing but a questionnaire, with no attempt to verify any of the claimed symptoms. How that refutes a position that GWS symptoms are psychosomatic is difficult to understand, not that I've ever said that. I've said some of the symptoms are psychosomatic while the rest are simply what would be expected among 700,000 persons after 13 years.
As opposed to your meager presentation, every paper I have cited was based on a physical examination carried out by medical doctors. Nobody doubts that Gulf vets complain more; the question is do they have more to complain about and the answer is "no." This is also emphasized by the lower death rate among Gulf vets compared to non-Gulf vets and especially compared to civilians. Could it really be that all these vets are so sick and yet absolutely none of their sicknesses are resulting in fatalities? No.
Moreover, if you're so concerned about "setting the record straight" why did you neglect to mention that in the very same issue of the BMJ you cited another study looked for differences between cancer rates (cancer clearly being a non-psychosomatic illness) and found "There is no current excess risk of cancer overall nor of site specific cancers in Gulf war veterans. Specific exposures during deployment have not resulted in a subsequent increased risk of cancer."
You also made no reference to the accompanying editorial noting "There is no evidence of excess malignancy, birth defects, or increased mortality associated with Gulf war deployment." It also observed, "Since the Gulf war several authors have looked retrospectively at the health consequences of other U.K. or U.S. wars. After nearly every such conflict, a substantial number of veterans develop chronic symptoms similar to those seen after the Gulf War. These syndromes are typically given different names and attributions (such as 'shell shock,' 'soldier's heart') after each conflict. This recurring occurrence implies that there is a low likelihood that an exposure unique to the Gulf War was largely responsible for the excess [self-reported] symptoms seen in these veterans."
It's not as if you didn't know about this editorial, insofar as you wrote an angry four-sentence fact-free rapid response to it! Or perhaps it would be better referred to as a "rabid response." Did you really think I wouldn't notice either the editorial or your pathetic reply?
Thus there is no need for me to challenge the scientific community; with the exception of H. Ross Perot's well-endowed lackey Robert Haley and fruits and nuts like Garth Nicholson, that community and I are on the same side. You're the one desperately trying to set the facts crooked.
A Truly Pathetic Attempt at Something or Other
NOTE: For the National Review editors reading this, I can only say that I'm glad Mr. Fumento's truly pathetic attempt at journalism does not represent the normal standard of your magazine. Contrary to Mr. Fumento [sic], since last week the following newspapers have published editorials supporting Judge Sullivan's Dec 22nd anthrax vaccine ruling: Baltimore Sun, LA Times, NY Daily News, Fayetteville (NC) Observer, Columbus Dispatch, Greensboro (NC) Record, and the Salt Lake City Tribune, as well as the USA Today on Dec 10th [sic].
I am a retired USAF Reserve LtCol [sic], former fighter pilot, Gulf War veteran and, like you, a graduate of the US Army Airborne school. With a few military colleagues, I have been instrumental in bringing the lawsuit against DoD, HHS, and FDA for their collective and collusive violations of law with respect to the DoD anthrax vaccine.
Having read you most recent missive in National Review online [sic], I can only say that you are grossly misinformed. The case against the government is clear and is supported by 35 years of internal government documents. Were it not, Judge Sullivan would have dismissed the case months ago – just as the Defendants asked him to [So what does it say that he reversed his position a few days later?]. Doing so would have been an easy decision for any federal judge "in time of war."
1) the [sic] FDA has NEVER approved the DoD's experimental anthrax vaccine. Had it done so in accordance with the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, Judge Sullivan would have dismissed the case. Had you taken the time to read the court filings and the judge's ruling you would understand why. FDA's rhetoric to Congress and the press has served to cloud the issue, and to shield it from culpability for gross abuse of regulatory discretion. Fortunately, this will not work in Court [sic].
2) The anthrax vaccine causes serious, chronic adverse reactions – and deaths. FDA knows this and forced the manufacturer to significantly revise its package insert as a condition of allowing BioPort to resume production in Jan 2002 after a four-year shutdown for regulator [sic] violations. DoD and DVA are both granting disabilities for these illnesses today. For you to quote a USAF physician who was instrumental in a cover-up of illnesses caused by the vaccine at Dover AFB in 1998, while choosing to ignor [sic] the existence of the Army's Walter Reed "National Vaccine Healthcare Center" founded specifically to treat anthrax vaccine illnesses, is irresponsible.
3) The March 2002 IOM report on anthrax vaccine conflicted with four previous IOM reports since 1997. Given that the IOM did not study any patients, did not review medical records of the disabled, was totally reliant on DoD, FDA and BioPort for their "data", and was operating under the pall cast by the post-9/11 anthrax attacks, its findings should be viewed with some skepticism. Further, your selective quotes from the IOM report are undermined in other areas of the same report. Had you read the entire report you would know this.
4) The law passed by Congress to protect servicemembers [sic], 10 USC 1107, is a direct result of decades of unethical, if not illegal abuse of soldiers by the Pentagon – and the denials that followed the nuclear testing, Project SHAD, Agent Orange and finally Gulf War Illness debacles. If you had done any research, you would understand that this law has already been signficantly [sic] weakened since 9/11 by the passage of other legislation.
5) Whatever you choose to believe about Gulf War Illness, it is real, Congress has so recognized it as being real, and all of the DoD epidemiologists in the world can't make it go away. Their decade of serial prevarications serve only to lessen the expense of taking care of the ill, which is DoD's sole objective.
6) The DoD anthrax vaccine policy is a direct result of a willful decision by senior CLINTON Administration Pentagon appointees to break the law. In fact, the JCS resisted the shot program and only agreed after the hysteria that followed the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing (which was not bioterrorism, if you recall). The BUSH Administration was thoroughly and repeatedly briefed (by me and others) in an attempt to avoid this lawsuit and the predictable result of the Pentagon's continued law-breaking. Bottomline [sic]: the anthrax vaccine is a bipartisan policy debacle only because the Bush Adminstration [sic] allowed it to be.
The only "national security danger", as you put it, is for America to have a military that believes it is above the law. Judge Sullivan did not demand a halt to the shots. He demanded that the US military obey the law. In contrast, your op-ed is simply an endorsement of the actions of a military that believes it is not subservient to the rule of law. And this is an unfortunate and unusual point of view to be expressed in the National Review.
Contrary to your implication, the troops are in no danger because: (a) there is no credible threat from weaponized anthrax; and (b) if there were, President Bush could by-pass Judge Sullivan's order with the stroke of a pen.
That President Bush has not done so speaks volumes about the veracity of the Pentagon's claims about the anthrax vaccine and the so-called WMD "threat" – and the merit of your opinion.
Dear Mr. Richardson:
Several points: How could USA Today have published an editorial on December 10th supporting a decision issued on December 22nd?
The reason Judge Sullivan didn't dismiss the case is because he is ignorant and arrogant. The facts are laid out in my article. Like you, he ignored them and employed judicial activism to arrive at a politically correct but scientifically and legally baseless decision.
1. As I stated, the FDA approved the anthrax vaccine in 1970, November 10th to be exact. I even provided a link to FDA testimony which discussed this. Apparently your Gulf illness prevents you from clicking on hyperlinks.
2. I noted the adverse event data on anthrax, pointing out that it had fewer such reports in 2001 than virtually any vaccine available in this country. Like everything else in my article, you simply ignored it. Again, I linked to the CDC document proving my point and again your illness precluded your making a mouse click. Conversely, you accuse me of ignoring the Walter Reed "National Vaccine Healthcare Center." But if you go to its website you find it doesn't even track anthrax vaccinations, though it does track 12 others. It's common knowledge that BioPort was forced to stop producing the vaccine after the FDA found problems at its manufacturing facility. But the FDA is on record as saying this in no way affected the quality of the vaccines available then; moreover, it could hardly have affected the vaccines available now. And of course any physician who disagrees with you is involved in the grand conspiracy, so there's no point in my quoting doctors, right?
3. There were three earlier IOM reports regarding the anthrax vaccines, the last of which happened to state it "was licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1970." Already that doesn't seem to support your position. None came to any conclusion on either the safety or the efficacy of the vaccine, and therefore could not possibly have been in conflict with the 2002 report. They were merely advisory papers concerning ongoing research. They can be found at http://lab.nap.edu/nap-cgi/discover.cgi?restric=NAP&term=anthrax. The quotes I used from the 2002 report were under the subheads of "findings." There was no picking and choosing. In any case, "no evidence that vaccine recipients face an increased risk of experiencing life-threatening or permanently disabling adverse events immediately after receiving AVA, when compared with the general population," and no indication of "any convincing evidence that vaccine recipients face elevated risk of developing adverse health effects over the longer term" would seem to speak for itself.
4. Congress passes laws; it does not rule on whether diseases exist or not. Happily, it does not have the ability to take that power from the scientific and medical community.
5. Whatever you choose to believe about Gulf War Syndrome, it is fake.
6. If you really did brief the Administration, it is no wonder they did the opposite of what you advised.
Finally, I let you have your say with much of your letter insofar as it's a telling, if rather scary, revelation of your mindset. But the "no credible threat" claim will not stand. Before the invasion of Iraq, 19 nations were known to have biological weapons programs although all these may not have included anthrax. Moreover, the list does not include future possession nor present or future possession by terrorist groups. The only thing here that is utterly and totally lacking in credibility is you.
If A Politician Says It, It Must Be True
Dear Mr. Fumento:
Perhaps you haven't read the Congressional [sic] report concerning the anthrax vaccine. You may read it at: http://www.dallasnw.quik.com/cyberella/Anthrax/Anthrax_report_text.htm
Given that you are a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, I'm sure that you are far more educated than I. However, I too am a veteran and remember well going arm in arm with my fellow airmen through medical facilities so that if one passed out (due to endless immunizations) the other could keep him from hitting the floor.
I have suffered with an auto-immune disorder for the past ten years with no known cause. However, a potential cause is the plethora of immunizations I received while on active duty.
Is there any way a vaccine can be developed to address multiple strains of anthrax? I doubt it. So why should our troops be exposed to a vaccine that may cause health problems when our enemies may utilize a different strain in a chemical attack?
Have you requested an anthrax vaccination for yourself and your family?
I'll take my chances of surviving without one.
Dear Mr. Woodard:
Perhaps you have such great faith in that august body of elected officials in Congress to put their "report" ahead of findings of the FDA, the NAS, and the scientific community at large. I do not.
Your arm-in-arm stuff might impress somebody else, but not anybody who has actually been in the military. I, too, got a ton of shots all at once. We simply lined up, took them from one administrator, then another, then another. There were no interlocking arms; we would have felt like little girls.
There are over 100 auto-immune diseases. In a sense, none are truly explained or have a "known cause" aside from the basic knowledge in the case of some of certain molecules binding with certain receptor sites. How your disease becomes proof of anything, then, is difficult to say. Certainly only a tiny percentage of sufferers of auto-immune disease have had all the vaccinations the military requires, especially since about two-thirds of auto-immune sufferers are women whereas the military despite the best efforts of the feminist egalitarians remains overwhelmingly male.
Anthrax vaccine stimulates antibodies that block the toxins common to all strains of anthrax bacteria. Vaccinated rhesus monkeys, rabbits and other animals have survived attack by multiple strains of bacteria, while unvaccinated animals consistently die.
And yes, I did try to get vaccinated just to shut down challenges like yours. But I was told the vaccine was in far too short supply for those who needed it, much less for science writers who just wanted to say they'd had it.
Finally, you're no longer in the military so nobody's asking you to take the shot. But your statement shows ignorance of the entire thrust of my piece. Soldiers can no more be allowed to opt out of a protective vaccine than they can of protective armor. It's not just their own lives at stake but that of everybody in the unit. If you're in the military and want to "opt-out," you can desert and face your punishment. But you have no right to put your unit and your mission at risk.
In Which We Bring New Meaning to "All-Volunteer Military"
To the Editors:
The National Review should be embarrassed to have published the recent piece by Michael Fumento, "Opt-Out Military."
Not because it is plainly offensive to so many men and women who proudly have served and continue to serve in the armed forces while being subjected to experimental drugs and medicines without their informed consent (where, even today, many new recruits to bootcamp are asked to "agree" to participate in defense medication studies);
Not because it expresses unfounded and clearly uneducated views about the anthrax vaccine's actual lack of demonstrated efficacy (the very NAS study he proudly cites in the article – when read beyond the DoD promoted headlines – noted (pages 73-75 of the study) that although AVA may arguably be qualitatively effective, the extent to which it is quantitatively effective – i.e., whether it would actually help someone – has not been determined);
Not because it fails to mention the FDA mandated product label information (never shown to soldiers, sailors, or marines) that 5 to 35% of "patients" will suffer systemic side effects, of which 6% will require hospitalization and/or cause death;
Not because it treats your readers as so dumb that they would accept the analogy between a soldier's educated decision to forego an unproven medication with FDA identified side effects as a protection against an undemonstrated threat to a soldier's inane hypothetical decision not to arm himself with a machine gun;
... and not because it references a low AVA reaction rate in the year 2001 as proof that the drug is not dangerous away from Internet and media hysteria (and ignores the simple fact that the military was not inoculating any armed forces personnel in 2001 because the AVA plant in Michigan had been compelled to shut down by the FDA for manufacturing safety violations).
No, the National Review should be embarrassed because the false underlying theme of Mr. Fumento's article (the existence of a legitimate anthrax threat from our enemies) was directly contradicted by Mr. Fumento in his own Guest Comment in National Review back in October 2001. In such [sic] article he acknowledged (1) "a relatively large amount of the bacteria is required to cause [sic] even mild illness depending on the mode of exposure;" (2) "Harming more than a few [individuals] is incredibly difficult;" (3) "The hardest way to contract anthrax illness is through the air;" (4) "terrorist groups have already been trying desperately for years to kill people with anthrax, as well as numerous other biological weapons, to little avail;" and (5) "weaponizing and disbursing anthrax is so difficult that it's an absurd alternative to boring old explosives."
Without a legitimate military threat, and without a vaccine that actually works if such threat arises, and in the face of very high FDA acknowledged systemic reaction rates, our men and women of the armed forces – all of whom voluntarily "opted in" to defend this country – should be given the choice of inoculation, as required by federal law (10 U.S.C. 1107). If your reputable periodical is going to permit "shock-jock" journalists to elicit baseless and inane contrarian viewpoints, it should at least ask them to be consistent.
You should be embarrassed to have sent your letter to NRO to provide amusement for the editors.
As I noted, a drug approved 33 years ago and used on over a million people can hardly be called experimental. If that be the case, let's call aspirin experimental as well - except that aspirin never received FDA approval. When I was in the Army, nobody asked for my informed consent on a damned thing. "Private Fumento, would you please provide your informed consent on whether we may awake you at 0400 for role call prior to heading out for maneuvers?" It's called being in the military. If you don't like the rules, don't join.
"Extent to which it has been determined" is not to be confused with "doesn't work," as you would wish. The same is true of many vaccines, including each year's flu vaccine. Indeed, it turned out the flu strain we were vaccinated against in 2003-2004 was the wrong one, but no one has used that to call for banning flu shots.
Gee, of all the vaccinations I received in the military, I can't remember being shown any labels. All I saw were syringes. As to your figures, I provided the adverse reaction rates for the last year available, 0.8 percent.
Again, you demonstrate complete ignorance that the military is not like anarchy. A soldier is not allowed to make individual decisions in the way a civilian is. Thus however inane you think my hypothetical example is, it was common for men in my squad to complain about carrying the M-60 light machine gun because despite it being designated "light" it was a heck of a lot heavier than an M-16. Given a choice, they would have refused to do so. They were given no choice.
How marvelous that there was an adverse reaction rate to a vaccination that wasn't even being distributed that year! Did it not occur to you that they were still injecting soldiers with stocks made before the shut down? No.
Regarding my earlier NRO piece, if you'd have bothered to read it you'd have seen that I was discussing the anthrax mailing scare in which the bacterium was being delivered by the gram as opposed to its use on the battlefield where it would be delivered not a gram at a time in an envelope but perhaps by thousands of pounds at once. Iraq acknowledged to the U.N. that it had made 2,200 gallons of anthrax spores. That's a bit more than you can squeeze into a Number 10 envelope.
And yet again you demonstrate your ignorance that the military is not anarchy, where everybody gets to do whatever they feel. As even you concede, everybody in the Armed Forces is a volunteer. All service members raise their right hands pledging their lives in defense of our country. They are not allowed to opt out of missions even if they appear suicidal. Certainly they cannot be allowed to opt out of a vaccine. That there is a foolish law that a single judge has interpreted to dictate otherwise does not change this. That Kenneth cannot distinguish between anthrax as delivered by envelope and anthrax as delivered by missile, or anthrax by the gram and anthrax by the gallon, is a problem but not one of inconsistency. In this case, perhaps we could say that failure to see consistency is the hobgoblin of a little mind.
I am not exactly sure why you would mock a factually accurate response to a column you wrote in the National Review, or mock the life-long reader of such publication who wrote his first letter to the editors. [Ah, so it's "Be gentle, it's my first time."]
[Most of the rest of his letter omitted.]
I have good Navy pilot and aviation crew friends [sic] from Willow Grove Navy Air Base, whose unit in 2000 was riddled with autoimmune diseases shortly after receipt of the AVA, and whose blood antibodies from immediately before (clean) and immediately afterwards (disease antibodies) [sic] have demonstrated to the doctors at Walter Reed and the University of Pennsylvania that their wrenching ailments (including pemphigus vulgaris) [an autoimmune illness affecting the skin] were caused by AVA.
[And in conclusion . . .]
I hope that the National Review has a place for Conservatives who part with George W. Bush in an effort to truly honor and respect our military personnel. [Actually, it doesn't because they never read it.] I wish that the National Review did not have a place for Michael Fumento, who would not want to part with the administration irrespective of facts or law or the effect it has on those who are willing to honorably fight and die for this country.
I am hopeful that this "discussion" back and forth does not indeed simply amuse the editors of the National Review. If they are not offended by your baseless opinions, inaccurate facts, and impolite and unnecessary tone, then I have been reading the wrong magazine. Until Mr. Fumento can come to the National Review with substantive support for his opinions, I would recommend that the periodical tell him to keep his opinions to himself and not sully the pages of your publication.
I mocked you because you deserved to be mocked. So few of us get what we truly deserve; you should consider yourself lucky. That said, I did answer all of your arguments, showing that each and every one was factually inaccurate. So you just threw a fresh batch at me. Please inform me where it says on your subscription form that if you read NR on a regular basis you are allowed to argue ad infinitum with its writers, such that they never again have time to write articles. Better yet, why not get the eminent Judge Sullivan to "discover" that you have such a right and make a ruling. I'm sure it wouldn't take much.
Subject: I think you're wrong on the anthrax decision
Dear Mr. Fumento:
I share your concerns about liberal judicial activism, but I read the decision with care and have concluded that the judge made the right call. [Funny thing, the judge wasn't so sure.] It is quite clear both that (1) the FDA has not certified the anthrax vaccine as "safe and effective" against inhalation anthrax and (2) the President has not issued a national security waiver of whatever the legal requirement is that only FDA-approved vaccines be given without "informed consent."
If the situation is indeed as dire as you describe it, then the Pentagon should have no problem preparing the required paperwork and bringing it over to the White House for the President's signature. And if it's not so important for the President to exercise the existing statutory authority, then perhaps it's not a good idea to force anthrax shots over individual objections.
All the judge did is ensure that, absent a Presidential determination, the Pentagon obeys the law. That's the way it should be.
Please continue to share your opinions via NRO.
Dear Mr. Olson:
1. The FDA has stated for the record that the drug is effective for inhaled anthrax. Why would the difference between inhalation or cutaneous make any difference in safety? Obviously it wouldn't. Yet that was the real concern of the plaintiffs.
2. The NAS has called it safe and effective.
3. Alternatives are being developed but they do not yet exist. We must use what's available. I don't doubt we'll have better body armor in a few years. I've written about it. But that's no excuse for not using what we have.
4. I do not believe Bush will act because he'll see it as bad politics insofar as the spoon-fed media will use it against him. He'll let the courts overturn Sullivan's decision. The chance of our troops being hit by an anthrax attack in the near term are virtually non-existent. However, if it becomes necessary to invade Syria we will need it. They probably have thousands of gallons of the stuff.
God Also Gave Him a Brain and He Hasn't Taken Care of THAT
If extended years of use and governmentl [sic] approval were guarantees of safety, people would not be dying of exposure to asbestos, DES [sic], and a myriad of other drugs and materials, which were used for years with government approval. As a former member of the military, I understand the necessities of troop protection. However, these concerns must be balanced with the sanctity and dignity of the individual human being. My body is mine. It was given to me by God with the responsibility of proper caretaking. It is my decision what is to be injected into it.
Ah, spoken like a future trial lawyer! But I hope you read decisions and briefs better than you read my piece. I never said that years of use and governmental approval "were guarantees" of safety. I said that approval of a vaccine from 33 years ago and the use on over one million people with no more indication of harm than any other approved vaccine takes a drug out of the realm of experimental. It's also extremely hard to believe you were ever in the military with your attitude. Personally, I was trained to slip behind an individual soldier who was simply fighting for his own country the way I was fighting for mine and slit his throat without thought either to his sanctity or dignity. Why? Because war isn't like the rest of the world. It's dirty and mean. Likewise, a true soldier recognizes that by necessity and, Mr. Johnnie Cochran wannabe, by law that his body is not his own. Even for something as mundane as tattoos, military law makes them illegal. As we were specifically told, "While you wear that uniform (meaning while you're in the service), your body is not yours; it belongs to us." For someone who had already raised his right hand and pledged to give his life for his country, foregoing a tattoo doesn't seem especially radical. But now you tell me you were in that same military but you believe soldiers should have a right to pick and choose which vaccinations they receive, regardless that, unlike a tattoo, not receiving a vaccination can endanger both other soldiers in the unit and the mission.
Obviously you joined a different military than I did. Why don't you specify your unit and the years you served so that I can verify your claim? And obviously they don't teach logic at the law school you attend since you hardly need to know any of the specifics that I gave to know that a military that allows soldiers to disobey orders is a military that cannot win a war. In the Armed Forces, your god is your commander.
Actually, I am a future criminal prosecutor. I had hoped your response would consist of logical conclusions supported by rational premises. Instead, you chose to personally insult me as opposed to making and supporting your arguments. I do not wish to communicate with you any further.
Actually you're a low-life fake vet and presumably a fake law student. I actually made four distinct arguments but don't doubt you felt insulted by the exposure of your ludicrous assertions. Now go back to watching your Law & Order reruns.
Your article failed to mention two key problems with the anthrax vaccine:
The company that makes it.
The vaccine itself.
The company that made the vaccine that was stuck in my arm and millions of others was made by a company [sic] that neither produces any other vaccines, nor ever has and, when I left the military in 2000, still had not managed to qualify with the FDA to produce vaccines. It operated, seven years after starting production, under emergency authorization from the DOD and the DOD was its sole customer. And tell it [sic] me it isn't odd that retired Admiral Crowe, former JCS [sic] chairman, who endorsed then candidate Bill Clinton, owned 13% of the stock despite not having invested any cash. Hmm...
The vaccine was created to protect vets from bovine anthrax, which isn't the same thing as militarized anthrax. US Army NBC officers freely admitted that the vaccine wouldn't do much against militarized anthrax, so why the big kerfuffle? Was it the need to look like something was being done? By all means, give it to the vets and SF medics, and anyone else with need, cause or interest in livestock, but give the rest of our troops, and the budget, a break. It burns like hell going into your arm and wastes the taxpayer's money.
Dear Mr. Hawtin:
I don't see that it's pertinent that BioPort specializes in making the anthrax vaccine. Perhaps you're familiar with the expression, "Jack of all trades, master of none"? That the FDA shut down the facility at one point is proof that it was monitoring it. Nor did the FDA say the vaccine being made was unsafe, merely that it did not meet the very exacting specifications of an extremely difficult-to-make biologic. Moreover, since the first stock of vaccines was exhausted, by definition the judge's decision only applies to those made with explicit FDA approval. I don't know whether Crowe's position was odd or not; my concern is the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and the broader issue of whether a service member may be allowed to disobey orders because they're scared. If you really were "SF, Ranger, Airborne, etc." you'd know that a bit of fear goes along with each jump. You also know what happened to troopers who let the fear get to them and opted out of a drop.
As my piece stated the vaccine was created to protect from sheep anthrax, as sheep shearers would often cut themselves and expose themselves to the baccilus. It also stated that both the FDA and the NAS had concluded it was also effective against inhaled (militarized) anthrax, however. If you were in the military you would know that an NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) officer is a low-level commissioned officer simply in charge of making sure protective equipment works and that troops know how to use it. Vaccinations of any type are none of their concern.
Again, your position that a soldier should be allowed to turn down a vaccination because "it hurts like hell" (actually less than a tetanus shot, I'm told) doesn't sound like the words of any Green Beret or Ranger I've known.
Finally, it's utterly bizarre that you would say give it to the vets or SF medics. You just got through writing it doesn't work, why then give it to anyone? If it did work, why would a vet have more need of it than an active duty soldier and why have the medic left alive while all the troops around him are dead of anthrax?
[Interestingly, he did turn out to be a vet.]
I have had the vaccine – all six shots of it. Have you?
Jane [omitted] AF [Air Force]/JAH
They did not offer the vaccines during my time in service. When I first wrote about the vaccine in 1999 I called DoD to see if I could get one. Insofar as the supply was not nearly enough for the troops, they rightly denied my request. But why is it so important to you? Did having the series make you an expert on anthrax or anthrax vaccines? Or does your expertise extend no further than knowing how a single service member reacted to those injections?
I guess I just find it interesting that most of the folks writing on this issue, most of the government officials speaking to this issue, and most of the self-proclaimed experts on this issue haven't had the vaccine. Until they do, and until they let their wives and children take this vaccine, debating the issue is a moot point to me. I also think only the passage of time will resolve this debate.
I took the vaccine because I trust my commander-in-chief, because I am proud to serve in the military, and I believe in the oath I took to support and defend the United States Constitution. And it is the United States Constitution that allows us the right to freedom of speech that I truly cherish and that you obviously value as well.
I apologize if my curiosity has offended you in any way for that was not my intent. It truly was simply innocuous curiosity.
The answer is simple. Service members routinely receive vaccinations that civilians do not based on the belief that soldiers when deployed are more likely to come into contact with various pathogens and based on the military's need to accomplish its mission. As you must know, until the last century more soldiers were lost to disease than to enemy action in virtually every war ever fought. But your logic would seem to dictate that we should have no oncologists who haven't suffered cancer, or no heart surgeons who have never had their own rib cages cracked open. Or to use a military analogue, no general or admiral should be a theater commander who hasn't served aboard a ship, been a grunt, and piloted a plane. Likewise, you could flip it to say that anybody who has had cancer is a qualified oncologist and so on. Indeed, haven't the media tried to present AIDS/HIV victims as epidemiologists (the classic example being Magic Johnson) when the only knowledge they have of the disease is how it has affected them?
I appreciate your service to our country, but I hope that you appreciate that an officer of your rank can have a tremendous impact on the thinking of the enlisteds. And I dearly hope that if you are in or enter a command position you don't convince anyone under you that only a recipient of the vaccine series is qualified to speak on its efficacy and safety, when in fact the only special knowledge the recipient has is what the vaccines feel like.
Needed: A Kinder, More Loving Military
After reading your piece I remembered why I don't vote for politicians who see and ponder little else but the military.
The military shouldn't be a man's god or Idol [sic].
Dear Mr. Pina:
It was politicians who voted for the idiot vaccination opt-out law that the idiot judge ruled on.
The military is neither a god nor idol, but nor is it just another job. It consists entirely of men and women who voluntarily joined and pledged to protect their country even at the cost of their own lives – much less that of a series of shots.
Insofar as the Army dates back to 1775 nobody has any idea who was the first to suggest troop integration. It was implemented by civilians because the military was not given the right to implement it on its own, any more than the military has the ability to declare war. So you're not a particularly good student of military history, either.
Finally, not too many vets would call for a kindler, gentler military.
The military top leadership did have great opportunities to push gently but firmly for integration and it did not.
That says allot [sic] about it. It says the military needs outside guidance and oversight by civilians. American taxpayers are the ones that will have to pay for the large medical bills of soldiers if and when any military vaccines or practices [sic] hurts them. The soldiers who are discharged with any long term and serious illnesses will be of very little assistance to their country in that sick condition- [sic] That's also a reality. Anybody can push out their chest and rave about the military and its history but we also need people who can soberly and wisely use their heads and avoid turning this generation of young soldiers into a sad future of unneeded sicknesses – remember Agent Orange, because most people do.
Also it seems you agree that the military doesn't have the ability or right to do certain things. That's exactly the point. Civilians should insist that none of their military's soldiers be forced to receive the vaccination. Believe it to not [sic] the ranks are full of good people who are hoping that many many civilians write their congressmen and stop the vaccine requirement.
Dear Mr. Pina:
You seem utterly unaware that the Constitution designates a civilian, the president, as commander-in-chief, and that between him and the military there are other civilians such as the Secretary of Defense. You're making an assumption that the anthrax vaccine leaves permanent harm when the NAS met over a period of years on this and concluded exactly otherwise, with the conclusion quoted in my piece that you are pretending to react to. I do remember Agent Orange; I wrote a chapter on it for my book Science Under Siege. It is very bad for plants but harmless to humans.
You seem to not mention the fact that the vaccine has most recently been administered while receiving multiple other vaccinations during medical mobilization readiness. That there are credible scientists that have brought up the fact it is very hard to tell how this "chemical soup" we are making in the human body will perform. I'll get in line right behind you and we can roll the dice together.
Please inform me as to whom these "credible scientists" are so that I too may look into their research. Sharing is fun!
Ahh if I had the time. Thanks for responding though.
I figured as much.
As a soldier that [sic] got very sick from this vaccine, I have my doubts about it. I received my shots while in Korea in the late '90s and immediately noticed problems with myself and other soldiers while some soldiers seemed to be unaffected. After I became sick I did some research into this vaccine and the FDA approval process. I have to take exception with you about the fact that you said in your article that this vaccine was "approved by the FDA in 1970". It wasn't. The formula for the vaccine that was approved in 1970 has changed and according to FDA regulations it must go back through the approval process and since it hasn't it is still not approved. Also, because the military is using it in a different manner prescribed in the instructions included with the vaccine it must go through an approval process for that too. It hasn't.
It doesn't matter that over a million service members have received the vaccine. That doesn't prove that it works. The FDA recently banned ephedrine because it is responsible for over 150 deaths. There have been reports by some agencies that the vaccine has caused that many service members to die although the military only recognizes less than ten deaths.
Your conclusion is so full of rhetoric that it discredits any point you were trying to make. The judge based his decision on the informed consent law (the law that the Clinton administration suspended because he dislikes service men and women and didn't care if they got sick or not.) There are no laws that a judge could use to stop a military person from carrying a machine gun because it was too heavy.
Maybe you should talk to soldiers about their experiences with the vaccine and not some doctor that is scared to report what is really going on. I've seen doctors cover up reactions from this vaccine.
Bottom line.. the reactions that the vaccine cause are real and have caused the death of service people. Until the military can clean up the vaccine and prove that it will work it should be a voluntary vaccine.
Captain [omitted] Dabney
Dear Captain Dabney:
I don't know whether or how sick you got from the vaccine. I do know that just today I've gotten several letters from men claiming to be vets whose letters made it clear they haven't been close to a uniform since they left the Cub Scouts. You seem to know that about a lot of these alleged "conscientious objectors" insofar as you provided me with full information as to your SSN and unit. Between these vaccines and so-called Gulf War Syndrome there is obviously some perceived need out there to play sick vet, regardless that a person may be neither.
I also know that I do not base my health writing on anecdotes but rather on data. I did not say that since a million service members have received it it works, rather that between having been FDA-approved and a million service members having since received it it cannot be considered "experimental." The law was foolish, the judge more so.
Yet you also deny the FDA decision, apparently thinking that such factual statements as I just gave are mere "rhetoric." Your research that led you to conclude that "according to FDA regulations it must go back through the approval process and since it hasn't it is still not approved" is flatly false. First, this could always be considered mere off-label use. Doctors in the U.S. are allowed to prescribe any medicine for any illness so long as it's been approved for one illness. Second, as I stated, the FDA testified before Congress in 2000 that the vaccine was effective against weaponized anthrax and essentially conferred its blessing on use for inhalation exposure. Third, after my column appeared the FDA put out a "final rule and order" on December 31st declaring the vaccine safe and effective for inhalation exposure.
The FDA banned ephedra not because it caused 150 deaths but because it was linked to 150. That is tens of millions of Americans took the drug and 150 died within a short time thereafter. That is not evidence of causation and the FDA knows it, which is why you will see that the language you use and the language they use don't match up. The FDA also says that six soldiers' deaths appear linked to the vaccine. I described the adverse reporting system in my article and how AVA appeared to be essentially the safest vaccine you can get – according to the reports of the men who received it and their doctors.
You may call all of this "rhetoric," but they sure smell like facts to me. Finally, you missed the point with the machine gun. A person joins the military knowing, among other things, that he may be asked not just to take a vaccine he doesn't want but to forfeit his life. He knows that direct orders must be obeyed. If today we say you can opt out of a vaccine that by allowing you to be incapacitated or killed harms your unit members and your mission, then we may as well allow you to simply sleep in whenever you feel like it instead of getting up before the sun – or yes, opt out of carrying heavy weapons.
Sorry, sir. But you're one of those soldiers. It's been called a GI's right to gripe and I certainly did my share. But just as I did, you will put that uniform on five days a week or more and you will go out and do your job and if somebody gives you a direct order you may protest it depending on the situation but you will not ignore it. The day we become the opt-out military you advocate is the day we've won our last war and opened our borders to more direct attacks on U.S. soil.
Snow in San Diego
Your rant in the San Diego Times reflects lots of discussion with one side of the issue, and none with the other.
I am a Dover AFB pilot who experienced the vaccine debacle in 1999 and I assure you, you do not have the other side of the story. Are you interested in it?
In a nutshell, it isn't the vaccine, it is the illegal adjuvant (booster) squalene in some lot numbers. True, the law suit does not address this, but the judge knows a snow job when he sees one.
Here is how I told it to the Wall Street Journal about their Dec 2 [sic] editorial that is similar to yours. If you want any more of this, let me know. If you want the Roadman DVD [?], let me know.
[800-word letter due to vaccine-induced windiness omitted]
Dear Mr. Lacklen:
My "rant" appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune and I know all about your nutshell the adjuvant squalene. Briefly put, it has been studied as a possible cause of so-called "Gulf War Syndrome." Since Gulf vets are healthier and living longer than both non-Gulf vets and civilians, there is no GWS and hence no cause of it and hence squalene is not a cause of it. All the researchers found was that squalene can cause the formation of antibodies. Big deal. Lots of things injected into the blood cause antibodies to form because antibodies don't form merely in response to pathogens as many think but rather to myriad foreign substances. Your judge could see a snow job in San Diego in the middle of August. The vaccine is safe, the squalene is safe, and the only thing perhaps unsafe is having people like you walking the streets.
More arm-waving rant, no answers.
[700 words of arm-waving rant omitted.]
I lived this. I did my homework. I have civilian PHD [sic] immunologists explaining it to me. My position is peer reviewed. You have arm-waving rant and baseless chutzpah.
Back on the turnip truck with you, Mr. Fumento. Does the Hudson Institute know you are ranting without investigating? Go ask my questions and watch the backtracking. If DoD could have answered, they would have. All they can do is duck and change the subject.
Bring it on.
Actually, I'd rather just scrape it off - like you would stool off the bottom of your shoes. You're just a walking conspiracy theory. How you failed to bring into this Area 51, the Trilateral Commission, and the Freemasons I'll never understand. Perhaps it was the effects of the vaccine.
I can't produce peer reviewed proof on those, but I can on squalene. I have served from Viet Nam to Iraqi freedom [sic]. I am still flying the line. This doesn't necessarily make me right, but it does suggest I do not do conspiracies.
I say again, I am peer-reviewed, you are not.
For your own sake, you'd better make sure you are on the correct side when this goes down.
I say again, you have some serious problems, even if as you claim, somebody did peer review you. I doubt you served at all, but then neither do I care. So please serve your nonsense to somebody else.
A Fiction Lover
All I want to know is if you'll publish a commentary I will write which is based on fact instead of pulp fiction?
Dear Mr. Davis,
Insofar as you've already made it clear that you cannot distinguish between fact and fiction, nor between a writer and a publisher, the answer would have to be "no."
To your credit, I will testify that you have a sense of humor and are thick-skinned when it comes to criticism. You're going to need these qualities! Thanks for the reply.
Ah, the Old "Curled-Up Girl" Argument
Sir,,, [sic] As a recently retired air force [sic] guy i [sic] have to comment on your editorial..[sic] Your article is full of wrong statements and ignorance on the subject.. [sic] Have you seen the girl who is curled up and screwed up forever???? The company that made the vac was not up to standards that all other companys [sic] have to be and i [sic] have read alot [sic] on the subject and would NEVER take the vac under any case.. [sic]I would have retired first...I have 32 years in the service --you have obviously very little and it shows..Our military is doing A [sic] fine job and does not need alll [sic] these insane vaccinations...Your last paragraph shows your ignorance about the military.......[omitted]@prexar.com Steve [omitted], 65 sand [sic] hill [sic] road [sic], [omitted], New Hampshire,03458....Viet nam [sic] vet,desert [sic] storm [sic] vet, iraq [sic] freedom [sic]vet,, [sic]
Actually, I have not seen "the girl who is curled up and screwed up forever." Unless you're talking about the one they've been showing who is suffering from mad cow disease. If so, of all the arguments I've heard against the anthrax vaccine that's a new one. As to all these "insane" vaccinations, almost all of them are ones that civilians normally receive and that in fact these soldiers have probably already have had but are being given again either as boosters or simply to ensure that they did get them prior to service. But how could I have ever thought that my four years in the military could give me the knowledge about the safety and efficacy of the anthrax series that you've developed in your 32 years in the service. Such a fool I am! Thanks for setting me straight!
Label Her Clueless
Hello Michael! I'm not wasting too much of my time writing to you, because frankly, you're not worth it. In reading your article, it's clear why you are a "freelance reporter", it's obvious you wouldn't make it as a reputable reporter with anyone else. I do however, want to point out just one thing (if I were to point out all, I'd be here all day, and again... just don't have time for you) that you missed in your "valid research".
You made references regarding "alleged illnesses". If you would of done [sic], just a little bit of 1/2 ass reporting, you would of came [sic] up with the below. I've copied and pasted it for you, as I know it must of [sic] been too much trouble for you to do the first time. The below is the product label from AVA. I'm sorry, you're probably not familiar with that term, it stands for "Anthrax Vaccine Absorbed", aka [sic]: Anthrax vaccine.
Please note all the effects associated with this vaccine. [Omitted.] Again, this comes from the product label. I suppose, according to the world of Michael, all the "hyped Gulf War Vets" twisted the FDA's arm to have the manufacturer put this on the leaflet. Anyway, when you're ready for your dose, let me know. Maybe we can send you over to Iraq to do your "in-depth" reporting; the vaccine will be a requirement.
No need to respond back [sic], I don't really care about communicating with you. I really try at all times to keep my writings on a professional basis, but, it's asses like you that needs words put bluntly. So, have a nice day M.F. BTW, Sorry [sic], that means "by the way", M.F. doesn't necessarily have to stand for Michael Fumento. ;-)
Hello Randi! You're obviously big on not wasting time as in not bothering to waste time reading something you're attacking. Just for starters, a nationally syndicated columnist is not a "freelance reporter," although like probably most reporters I do some freelance work. My column automatically goes out to over 400 newspapers, thank you. I've also been a staff writer for three major newspapers.
Actually, in my original National Review Online version of the piece I hyperlinked to the Anthrax Vaccine Absorbed label, which is a pretty good indicator that I'm familiar with it. It does have side effects associated with it and "associated" is the key word. By law, drug and biologics makers must list absolutely any symptom that has or may be associated with a product, generally producing lists as long as an abridged dictionary. You can view these at http://www.drugs.com. You list 62 for the anthrax vaccine, which sounds like a lot unless you start comparing it to other drugs. For example, one I picked at random listed about 110 such symptoms. The drug: ibuprofen, is available over the counter. Maybe the aspirin makers twisted the FDA's arm to have the manufacturers put this on the label, but the list for aspirin is probably just as long. Anyway, I'm sure that now that you know this you'll never take another drug again. And regarding Iraq, again you're fabricating. No anthrax vaccine is required of reporters going to Iraq. If so, none would have gone since the series takes 18 months to complete.
Actually you really don't care about communicating with anyone in the true sense of the word. It's not just that you're ignorant but that you're so proud of it that you want the whole world to know. I assure you, that part which has had contact with you already does.
I Didn't Even Consider Responding to This
I am curios [sic] after reading your article .. how many
rounds of these shots have you personally received? and not to dig to
deep into your hippa rights [He means HIPAA, the Health Insurance
I myself have had a round of 3 jabs, late 1999 for all of them. in [sic] early 2000 my body started doing things that I could not nor [sic] my Doctor [sic] figure out what was up...I've never missed a deployment for my Country [sic]. 4 [sic] tours to the region in the middle [sic] east [sic] every time I volunteered to do so with the last one being my proudest moment. to [sic] give a little payback for what took place on 911 [sic]. I've seen your credentials at the bottom of your article also Airborne... Nice... myself I wanted a retirement with my career field in Weapons [sic]... [There's no such "career field" as "weapons."] I'm drawing up short since my last tour in 2002 because my body came home with Injury's (sic, sic) some that my doctor could put a finger on some that he could not [sic] for months.. I am now on 9 medications to function, when just 4 1/2 yrs ago I took 1000 mg [sic] of Vitamin C and was good to go.. I've spent 18 good years in the military and "NOW" looking down a barrel of what if's.. [sic] I've had nothing but Excellent [sic] performance appraisals throughout... tons of awards.. been everywhere they've (My Country [sic]) has asked me to be... and now for the past 20 months been "battling" the same group of folks I did my missions with and for.. because I cannot function like I used to and because of this I am Useless [sic] to them?? I've never opt [sic] out of a damn thing in my life.. especially when it came to protecting and service [sic] to my country... but I have recently told my command.. I would have rather spent 20 months in the Afghani Mountains fighting an enemy I know is there rather than go through the treatment from my own command and co-workers because my body will not allow me to perform like it used to...who benefits from these shots really?? when [sic] I hear of 130,000 of my brothers and sisters deploying to Iraq to Finally [sic] end the BS.. and then I read there are 4000 non combat [sic] related illnesses coming home from Iraq.. there [sic] are 625 soldiers sitting in Ft. Stewart non combat [sic] fit to fight because many of them are Ill [sic] from adverse reactions to the shots... every other day one or two members of the Military [sic] are dead or sick because of adverse reactions to the shots. in [sic] the past 3 months there have been 7 deaths across the nation known and suspected from reactions to the shots... [On the one hand, there are one or two fatalities a day; on the other there have been seven in the past three months.] so then you post this about what next? Opt Out program?? [sic] I see nothing wrong with a soldier taking his own life into his hands to Fight On for his Country [sic].. if you do Sir.. [sic] we need to sit down and discuss where we both being Veterans [sic] differ on this issue??
BTW do you know who benefits from these shots??? I mean Truly... [sic]