(Washington, D.C.) – Calling the testimony in the deposition of the former
technical director of Project 112/SHAD "a ringing indictment of the actions
of the Department of Defense," Thomas H. Corey, National President of
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), has called on Congress to investigate the
continuing cover-up surrounding 112/SHAD.
During Project 112/SHAD - the acronym for "Shipboard Hazard and
Decontamination" - American sailors and soldiers from 1963 through 1972 were
the often unwitting subjects of the testing of chemical and biological
agents, simulants, and decontaminants. These include anthrax, sarin, and
betapropriolactone, now acknowledged to be a carcinogen and causes genetic
damage. At the heart of the controversy is that the military has been
investigating its own misconduct.
The former technical director, J. Clifton Spendlove, Ph.D., was deposed by
lawyers for the plaintiffs in the case of Vietnam Veterans of America v.
McNamara on December 11, 2003, pursuant to a court order. Dr.
Spendlove's testimony demonstrates that the DoD's investigation is, at best,
inadequate, and, at worst, fraudulent. In a letter to key Members of
Congress, Corey said the testimony of Dr. Spendlove "leaves absolutely no
doubt that military veterans were used as 'human samplers' without their
knowledge or consent and are victims of our own 'weapons of mass
destruction' test program."
Corey called on Congress to:
demand that the responsible DoD agency grant immediate and unfettered access
to all Project 112/SHAD information in its possession and release all
information found to be medically relevant by SHAD veterans'
convene hearings on the conduct of DoD's SHAD investigation and demand that
all cognizant officials explain their seemingly complicit actions and
demand accountability from those determined to have improperly conducted
themselves as government officials, "including resignation and termination
require the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Institute of Medicine to
review the "dose to humans" data whenever obtained and consider this
information in evaluating potential service-connected health effects; and
review congressional oversight of DoD officials who "failed to prevent or
uncover such long-standing abuses."
"Action must be taken now. Veterans have the right to know what they were
exposed to whether or not DoD believes it is harmful or not," Corey said. "DoD
officials have forfeited the right to decide what is relevant to SHAD