United States Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and Their Impact

Your relationship with government is simple: government knows everything about you, and you know nothing about government. In practice this means government can do whatever it wants to you before you know it's going to happen. Government policy makers think this is a good way of ensuring citizen compliance. Thus, all of these investigations are retrospective -- they look back at the squirrely shit that government has pulled, and occasionally wring their hands about trying to avoid it happening in the future. Not inspiring reading, but necessary if you are to face the cold reality that Big Brother is more than watching.

United States Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and Their Impact

Postby admin » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:17 pm

S. HRG. 103-900

UNITED STATES DUAL-USE EXPORTS TO IRAQ AND THEIR IMPACT ON THE HEALTH OF THE PERSIAN GULF WAR VETERANS

HEARING BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS, UNITED STATES SENATE, ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION, ON UNITED STATES CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE-RELATED DUAL-USE EXPORTS TO IRAQ AND THEIR POSSIBLE IMPACT ON THE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES OF THE PERSIAN GULF WAR

MAY 25, 1994

PRINTED FOR THE USE OF THE COMMITTEE ON BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS

U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON: 1994

Contents

Wednesday, May 25, 1994

• Opening statement of Chairman Riegle
• Opening statements, comments, or prepared statements of:
• Senator D'Amato
o Prepared statement
• Senator Boxer
• Senator Faircloth
• Senator Bond
o Prepared statement
• Senator Bennett
• Senator Kerry
• Senator Moseley-Braun
• Senator Campbell

Witnesses

• Edwin Dom, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, U.S. Department of Defense, Washington, DC; accompanied by: Dr. Theodore M. Prociv, Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Weapons, U.S. Department of Defense, Washington, DC; and Dr. John Kriese, Chief Officer for Ground Forces, Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC
o Prepared statement
• Response to written questions of:
o Senator Riegle
o Senator D'Amato

Afternoon Session

• Dr. Mitchell Wallerstein, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counterproliferation Policy, U.S. Department of Defense, Washington, DC
• Dr. Gordon C. Oehler, Director, Nonproliferation Center, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC
o Prepared statement

Additional Material Supplied for the Record

• Letters concerning Persian Gulf War Health Issues
• Department of Veterans' Affairs Gulf War Syndrome Registry
• U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency — Medical Customer Shopping Guide for Saudi Arabia
• May 25, 1994 Committee Report
• October 7, 1994 Committee Report

UNITED STATES DUAL-USE EXPORTS TO IRAQ AND THEIR IMPACT ON THE HEALTH OF THE PERSIAN GULF WAR VETERANS

WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 1994

U.S. SENATE, COMMITTEE ON BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS, Washington, D.C.

The Committee met at 10:10 a.m., in Room SD-106 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator Donald W. Riegle, Jr. (Chairman of the Committee) presiding.
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Re: United States Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and Their Impact

Postby admin » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:18 pm

OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN DONALD W. RIEGLE, JR.

The CHAIRMAN. The Committee will come to order.

Let me welcome all those in attendance this morning.

This is a very important hearing and we'll take whatever time we need today to pursue all of the issues that Members want to raise. Of course, we have a follow-on hearing later in the afternoon.

I'm going to give an opening statement that summarizes what brings us to this hearing this morning. Then I'm going to call on Senator D'Amato and other Members in the order in which they've arrived.

I also want to acknowledge the presence in the room of some of our Gulf War veterans who are suffering from the Gulf War Syndrome. I appreciate very much both their service to this country and their attendance the morning.

Back in 1992, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, which is the Committee which has Senate oversight for the Export Administration Act, held an inquiry into the United States export policy to Iraq prior to the Persian Gulf War. During that hearing it was learned that U.N. inspectors had identified many United States-manufactured items that had been exported from the United States to Iraq under licenses issued by the Department of Commerce, and that these items were used to further Iraq's chemical and nuclear weapons development and missile delivery system development programs.

The Committee has worked to ensure since that time that this will not happen again and the Export Administration Act legislation we reported out yesterday by a 19 to nothing bipartisan vote is an illustration of that.

Nearly a year ago, several Persian Gulf War veterans from Michigan contacted my office to complain that the Department of Veterans' Affairs was not adequately treating the myriad of medical symptoms that they were suffering from. These veterans were suffering from what has come to be known as Gulf War Syndrome.

Many of them were being treated symptomatically, with no long lasting, positive effects on their health. Others were being referred for psychiatric evaluation because personnel in the Department of Veterans' Affairs were at a loss to explain their physical symptoms.

We'll come back to that later today.

Then, in July 1993, the Czechoslovakian Minister of Defense announced that Czechoslovak chemical decontamination units had detected the chemical warfare agent Sarin in areas of northern Saudi Arabia during the early phases of the Gulf War. They had attributed the detections to fallout from coalition bombing of Iraqi chemical warfare agent production facilities.

In September 1993, I released a staff report on this issue and, in turn, issued an amendment to the fiscal year 1994 National Defense Authorization Act, that provided preliminary funding for medical research of the illness and an investigation of reported exposures and sicknesses of our Gulf War veterans.

When I released that report, the estimates of the number of veterans suffering from these unexplained illnesses varied from hundreds, according to the Department of Defense, to thousands, according to the Department of Veterans' Affairs. It is now believed that tens of thousands of U.S. Gulf War veterans are suffering from the symptoms associated with the Gulf War Syndrome. Meanwhile, hundreds, and possibly thousands, of servicemen and women still on active duty are reluctant to come forward for fear of losing their jobs and, in turn, losing their medical care and coverage.

These Gulf War veterans are reporting muscle and joint pain, memory loss, intestinal and heart problems, fatigue, nasal congestion, urinary urgency, diarrhea, twitching, rashes, sores, and a number of other symptoms. They began experiencing these multiple symptoms during and after, often many months after, their tour of duty in the Gulf.

I might say that in virtually every case, these veterans were in excellent physical condition when they went over to the Gulf. In fact, under the voluntary Army arrangements, you have to be in exceptionally good condition today just to qualify for service in the Armed Forces, and that was particularly true for many who were asked to serve in the Gulf War. So we're talking about people with exceptionally strong health profiles before their service in the Gulf.

The Department of Defense, when first approached regarding this issue by the Committee staff, contended that there was no evidence that U.S. forces were exposed to chemical warfare agents. However on September 7, 1993, a Defense Department medical official told my staff that the issue of chemical and biological warfare agent exposure had not been explored because it was the position of "military intelligence" that such exposures never occurred.

Then, during a November 10, 1993, press briefing at the Pentagon, the Department of Defense acknowledged that the Czech government did detect chemical agents in the Southwest Asia theater of operations. After analyzing the results of the Czech report, the Department of Defense concluded that the detections were unrelated to the "mysterious health problems that had victimized some of our veterans."

The Ranking Member of this Committee, Senator D'Amato, and I have released today a report detailing an inquiry into this issue that provides important new information based upon Government documentation and other official reports.

The report establishes, first of all, that, contrary to the Department of Defense assertions, there is clear evidence that the chemical agents detected by the Czechs and others were at sufficient levels to harm U.S. troops.

Second, it establishes that the chemical agent detectors used by U.S. forces during the Gulf War were not sufficiently sensitive to detect sustained low levels of chemical agent and to monitor personnel for contamination. U.S. Army Material Safety Data Sheets, called MSDS, indicate that chronic exposure to levels of over 1/10,000th milligram per cubic meter of Sarin is hazardous and requires the use of protective equipment. The minimum amount of chemical agent required to activate the automatic chemical agent detection alarms that was commonly used during the war was 1,000 times greater than this amount.

In other words, the levels for the alarms used in the war were set at a rate 1,000 times greater than the actual level that we know from other military records to be damaging and hazardous to people if they are exposed to them over a period of time.

Third, the report provides detailed weather and information from unclassified satellite imagery which confirms that during much of the war, the smoke plumes from the coalition bombings were moving directly over U.S. troop positions.

Fourth, it explains that the United States did not have effective biological agent detectors deployed with the capability to confirm whether or not troops were being exposed to biological agents.

During a November 1993, unclassified briefing for Members of the United States Senate, in response to direct questioning, a DoD official said that the Department of Defense was withholding classified information on the exposure of U.S. forces to biological materials.

Then in a Department of Defense-sponsored Conference on Counterproliferation held at Los Alamos National Laboratory on May 6 and 7, 1994, this same official admitted that biological agent detection is a priority development for the Department of Defense since there currently is no biological agent detection system fielded with any U.S. forces anywhere in the world.

Fifth, it provides evidence that the United States shipped biological materials to Iraq which contributed to the Iraqi biological warfare program.

The report also draws upon direct eyewitness accounts from full interviews of more than 600 Gulf War veterans who were directly interviewed by Committee staff. A representative cross-section of 30 of these individuals is presented in full detail in the report, but it is very illustrative of the entire body of interviews that we have now taken, and we are continuing to take interviews and we will continue to do so.

The information provided by the veterans indicated that exposure to chemical and possibly biological agents was widespread-widespread! Detections were confirmed by chemical specialists deployed in Saudi Arabia, in Kuwait, and in Iraq.

Despite the fact that during the air war, the chemical alarms continued to sound frequently, and despite the fact that the Czech, the French, and some United States commanders were confirming they were sounding because of trace amounts of nerve agents in the air, from the coalition bombings of Iraqi chemical facilities, storage depots and bunkers, United States troops were often told that there was no danger. Some reported to the Committee that they turned the alarms off because they sounded so often during the air war.

After the war, in addition to tens of thousands of other chemical munitions, U.N. inspectors-now listen carefully to this-U.N. inspectors found and destroyed 28 SCUD chemical warheads containing the chemical nerve agent Sarin.

According to a Department of Defense official, these warheads had been obtained from the former Soviet Union. The report also cites an increasing number of cases of spouses and children who report the same symptoms as the veterans, indicating a strong possibility of the transmissibility of the syndrome. This is an extremely worrisome issue that now confronts those families in the country. The emerging pattern of information in this area in terms of family problems of spouses and children requires immediate additional investigative effort. And I don't want to hear the Defense Department or anybody else in the Executive Branch of Government say that we don't have the money to do this job. We waste money on a million other things.

[Applause.]

It's time we got to the bottom of this problem.

The report also recommends the immediate declassification and release of all classified or special access information relating to Iraqi chemical and biological warfare programs and information related to the detection or discovery of chemical, chemical precursor, or biological warfare-related materials. It's time to put it all out into the light of day.

It demands that a thorough and detailed epidemiological study be conducted on all Gulf War veterans-on all of them-to determine the origins and causes of the illnesses and the report of transmission of the syndromes to family members. It calls for the establishment of a comprehensive medical testing regime for all symptomatic Gulf War veterans and their family members.

We have not had a situation like this before and it's not enough to use a Catch-22 part of the Government military establishment to say that if a family member is now sick because of an exposure, that we don't have any procedure to provide health care for them. I think we have to establish a procedure to provide health care for them. That's part of our responsibility. That's what America is supposed to be all about-about honor and decency with respect to our service men and women, and certainly to their families that are now showing these same symptoms and these same medical problems.

The report also calls for the positive presumption of service connection for the purposes of receiving necessary medical treatment and determining disability compensation and vocational rehabilitation eligibility.

We can't have a situation in this country where we have veterans that have served 10, 20, or 30 years, who went over to the Persian Gulf in excellent health and who have come home and who are sick, like some in this room today, and have the military establishment, in effect, walk away from them. And not only not provide the kind of adequate medical treatment and coverage, but to leave them in a situation that when they're out of the service, and if they don't have a service-connected disability adequate to support themselves, they can't possibly go out and get private health insurance. The insurance companies don't want them, or if they do, they charge a premium that those veterans can't afford to pay.

We're not going to have this in America. The Executive Branch had better wake up, from the Secretary of Defense up and down the line. It's time we give a positive presumption of service connection for the purposes of receiving necessary medical treatment and determining disability compensation and vocational rehabilitation eligibility. It's the minimum we can do.

Finally, it calls for Government-financed health care for the spouses and children determined to have contacted a service-connected illness from a Gulf War veteran.

If the Department of Defense intended to conceal these exposures during the Gulf War to avoid the physical and mental disruption their use would have had on our tactical planning and deployment at the time, then there might be some way of understanding, at least in a battle situation, why that might be their thinking. But now that the war is over, hoping to avoid responsibility for the casualties of this conflict is an entirely different matter.

Over the last 8 months, our office has been contacted by over 1,000 Gulf War veterans directly. In addition to veterans from the United States, we've also been contacted by sick veterans of the Canadian, British, and Australian armed services who served in the Persian Gulf and who also suffer from this disabling syndrome.

This is not a mental problem with the veterans. It may be a mental problem over at the Defense Department. It is not a mental problem with the veterans.

[Applause.]

The veterans of the Gulf War have asked us for nothing more than the assistance that they have earned. I think any refusal to come to their full assistance and to that of their family members who also have these problems now, would cause any thinking person to just question the integrity of the operation that's calling the signals with respect to getting to the bottom of this issue.

I want to just say one other thing before yielding to Senator D'Amato, and I appreciate very much his leadership and concern on this issue.

I've served here now for 28 years, through seven Presidents. I've seen our Government lie to us before in other war situations. I saw how long it took for our Government to understand we had a problem with Agent Orange. We had sick veterans all across this country trying to cope with the problems, and their family members trying to cope with the problems, but nobody could figure it out in the military establishment. We're not going to have that repeated in this situation.

If I find anybody that comes before our Committee and who, under oath, gives false testimony, incomplete testimony, misleading testimony, or disingenuous testimony designed to create a false picture, were going to pursue that individual with every single piece of authority that we have to see to it that they don't serve in this Government and that whatever the truth is, that the truth come out. We're not going to tolerate that kind of situation.

It has nothing to do with party. I've been in both parties in my service in the Congress and I've served under Presidents of both parties and Secretaries of Defense under both parties. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with what the truth is, and about honor and integrity, and our military structure, and our responsibility to our veterans and their families.

I care a lot more about what happens to the veterans than I do about our former Secretaries of Defense. In fact, at the end of the day, they're a lot more important because they're the ones that go out and get the job done, especially when the dirty work has to be done.

[Applause.]

So I'm tired of all of the circuitous, incomplete, and mental lapses that I'm getting out of the military establishment. I want to say it as bluntly as I can because we're not going to settle for that, and if anybody thinks so they're sadly mistaken.

I urge everybody to read this report today. If we have to have a hearing where we bring the veterans in one by one and have 100, 200, 300, or 400 and do it day after day after day to get the attention of the people at the top of this Government, then I'm prepared to do it.

This is not going to be an issue that gets swept under the rug. We've seen that happen before. It's not going to happen now, not with anything that falls under the jurisdiction of this Committee.

Senator D'Amato.

[Applause]
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Re: United States Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and Their Impact

Postby admin » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:22 pm

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR ALFONSE M. D'AMATO

Senator D’AMATO. Mr. Chairman, let me begin today by expressing my appreciation for your commitment to addressing the serious issues that are raised, whether the exposure to chemical and biological agents during the Gulf War with Iraq are causes of what has come to be known as the Gulf War Syndrome.

Whether or not the exposure to immunization from the possible effects of these chemicals may have played a role in bringing about a situation in which no one can deny, cannot be explained away by simply saying that these are problems that come as a result of a state of mind that one has, as opposed to very real illnesses that may have been caused by any one of these factors.

The report is very illuminating. Pages 134 and 135 take us to the issue of the question of the effectiveness of the drugs and the long-term impact that were administered to the veterans in an attempt to immunize them against possible biological attacks. These drugs have not received the full approval of the FDA. How many and how often were these drugs used? Which of them were experimental in nature? What have we done in ascertaining the impact of the administration of these drugs on our veterans? Have we made or begun to make the kinds of studies that can lead us to the information and facts necessary?

I've raised this with the Assistant Secretary just a few moments ago. This has been the subject of some hearings that have been held, not open to the public, touching on some sensitive, very sensitive areas.

The Congress is very much concerned and the Chairman is very, very right. When the Defense Department is issuing orders to people that they should not testify or should not appear publicly in uniform to make known their plight, I believe they're overreaching. And I think it smells, then, of the kind of situation which we should all be contemptuous of.

We want the facts.

I don't know the facts. But I know one thing-it's not good enough to simply try to dismiss the thousands of veterans and their complaints from themselves and their families by saying, it's a mental state of mind. It is improper to attempt to turn this around and make people who are truly ill, where they bad no illnesses before, and try to blame this, in effect, on that person, by making them feel that he or she somehow has a mental problem, and that it's not real. And that's exactly what is taking place.

If we treat people with disdain-and that is what is happening--there will come the kinds of reactions that we've seen. I don't think we should loan ourselves to that. I don't believe that most people are doing that deliberately. But I think that is the manner in which it is being perceived.

I believe that the Administration, the Defense Department, must show a greater degree of sensitivity and has to devote more of its resources and energies to getting the facts. It can't wait another 2 or 3 years. It's something that we are entitled to and it's something that we should be letting those who are experiencing these problems know what we're doing.

You can have the best intentions and the best programs in the world in terms of trying to get the facts. But if you're not letting the veterans know, if you're not letting the Congress know, if you're saying, well, we're working diligently, why, then, it loses its impact. I think that it is absolutely imperative that we get these things out on the table. It's not going to be swept away, as the Chairman has indicated.

Let me conclude by saying that I think we owe the Chairman a great debt of gratitude for his persistence in pushing forward and really trying to get the facts and the information that those who are afflicted are entitled to and that the American people and public are entitled to.

Thank you.

[Applause.]

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Senator D'Amato.

Senator Boxer.
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Re: United States Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and Their Impact

Postby admin » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:23 pm

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR BARBARA BOXER

Senator BOXER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

You really have been the voice for our Gulf War veterans, not only inside the U.S. Senate, but in the country.

I've been here a short time. And soon after I came, you began to talk about Persian Gulf War Syndrome. You never gave up pushing for the answers and you never let this become a matter of statistics. You've always put a human face on it. Some of those faces are out here today, thanks to you and your work.

I believe, whether from within or without the Senate, this is something you're not going to let die. When people say one person can't make a difference, they never met Don Riegle. I sincerely mean it, and I certainly want to be your partner in this endeavor.

The CHAIRMAN Thank you.

Senator BOXER. Mr. Chairman, hundreds, if not thousands, of California veterans are now suffering from Gulf War Syndrome. Many of them have come into my office. They've told me of lives disrupted and families destroyed. Every one of them has been a heartbreaking story.

The symptoms of this terrible disease are now well known: Headaches, muscle and joint pain, loss of memory, shortness of breath, skin rashes, diarrhea, and an inability to function.

Mr. Chairman, I had the honor of discussing the Gulf War Syndrome with a woman who has it. I'm not going to put her name out there because I feel that I need to protect her. She's a 26-year old active-duty Army mechanic. She worked out on the line repairing planes in the Gulf War. She was sent to Saudi Arabia in 1990 and returned in May 1991.

She started to experience terrible symptoms in late 1990. 1 have her medical report. You can tell from the symptoms, which go on and on, that she was completely debilitated. She experienced daily fevers of 102 degrees every afternoon, dry mouth, bilateral subcoastal stabbing pains of pressure which would last for hours, as long as 1 week, palpitations, chest pain, oral ulcerations, blisters on the lips, numbness in the hands, fatigue, severe headaches, and it goes on and on.

Prior to being shipped to the Persian Gulf, she was a 100-percent, all-American, healthy young woman, with no history of any problems at all.

She wrote to me:

On May 1, 1991, I returned from Desert Storm. I did not know that the war would start again 3 years later. This time it is not with a foreign nation, but with my own Government. I do not want compensation. I only want my health back. Please help the sick veterans of the Gulf War.

When we send people to face death, we owe them something when they come back. As a matter of fact, we owe them everything when they come back. And I believe that if there is in fact a cover up going on, whether it's meant to be something to help our country, not to get us down and depressed, for whatever reason, there is no excuse.

We need to get to the bottom of this and, Mr. Chairman, as you point out, we will. It took us a long time to find out about radiation exposure in the 1940's and the 1950's, but we found out about it, and the pain of learning about the cover-up only adds to the agony of the original sin.

We've also learned about the Agent Orange experience. I remember struggling in the House of Representatives for years to get recognition that Agent Orange exposure should have been an automatic disability. Don't you think it's time we made the same kind of conclusion here? We don't have one person or ten people. We have many, many thousands. They all have the same symptoms.

I have a statement submitted to us by Dean Ludholm, Jr., a Gulf War veteran, who joined the California national guard and very proudly volunteered for service in the Gulf War. I just want to close by reading his last paragraph:

Nine months after first accessing VA medical care, I'm still being told to be patient. This bothers me. But it doesn't compare to the anger I feel when other veterans and their families tell me their stories of dealing with the VA and the DoD. They tell me that these Governmental agencies just don't care, as long as they get their research funding. They tell me )f waiting many months for medical appointments. They tell me of quick medical screenings that do not look for evidence of illness. They tell me of the financial hardships this illness has caused their families. For the last 3 years, we've been more than patient with the powers that be.

You have the ability to help us veterans and our families.

And then he closes and says:

These are tough times. We want nothing more than to be self-sufficient. You can't know the pain of asking for food stamps and handouts from the communities we live in, and then being told, we're looking to take advantage of the system. Let there be no peace until we have justice.

These are very strong, emotional, and important words. Mr. Chairman, the soldier to whom I referred earlier is now at a private clinic, courtesy of a very generous man. They're trying to get to the bottom of this.

I hope today we will have the wherewithal to get the truth out on the table because it is our responsibility, not some private clinic, to find out what this problem is.

Mr. Chairman, I thank you again for your leadership.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Senator Boxer. I appreciate what you’ve said and I appreciate your leadership on this and also citing those stories of those individuals from California.

Senator Faircloth.
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Re: United States Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and Their Impact

Postby admin » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:27 pm

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR LAUCH FAIRCLOTH

Senator FAIRCLOTH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I want to thank you for holding this hearing. It's necessary and it's going to serve an excellent purpose.

In the wake of the Gulf War, it is time we looked back to see what was done wrong and what was done right. We can't change what was done, but we will be accountable for what we do now.

My statement also gets to another cover-up of that conflict, not as touching as the sick veterans, but well worth a review.

The Commerce Department has a lot of questions to answer about its role leading up to the Gulf War. It is also time that we in the Banking Committee revisit a current Commerce Department nominee—Lauri Fitz-Pegado, who played a crucial role in shaping public opinion toward U.S. involvement, and she did it by personally orchestrating perjured testimony before Congress.

Mr. Chairman, in 1990, after the Iraqi invasion of their country, the Kuwaiti government in exile formed Citizens for a Free Kuwait. They hired the lobbying firm of Hill and Knowlton to influence public opinion in this country toward entering the conflict. Lauri Fitz-Pegado was in charge of the effort.

Her strategy was to use alleged witnesses to atrocities, to tell stories of human rights violations in occupied Kuwait. Using their testimony, she orchestrated what has come to be known as the Baby Incubator Fraud.

She first coached a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl, identified only at the time as Naira, to testify before Congress that she had seen Iraqi soldiers remove Kuwaiti babies from hospital respirators. Naira claimed to be a refugee who had been working as a volunteer in a Kuwaiti hospital throughout the first few weeks of the Iraqi occupation. She said that she bad seen them take babies out of the incubators, take the incubators, and leave the babies "on the cold floor to die."

Naira's emotional testimony riveted human rights organizations, the news mediums, and the Nation. That incident was cited by six Members of the U.S. Senate as reasons to go to war with Iraq.

However, it was later discovered that the girl was in fact the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. It turns out that Lauri Fitz-Pegado had concealed Naira's real identity. Since then, reputable human rights organizations and journalists have concluded that the baby incubator story was an outright fabrication. Every study commissioned by the Kuwaiti government could not produce a shred of evidence that the ambassador's daughter had been back in occupied Kuwait to do volunteer work in a hospital. It was a total fabrication.

Lauri Fitz-Pegado then put on a repeat performance in front of the U.S. Security Council on November 27, 1990. In the testimony before Congress, they claimed they couldn't fully identify who the witness was because they wanted to protect her family that supposedly was still trapped in Kuwait. But, in fact, they were here on Embassy Row.

In front of the United Nations, Lauri Fitz-Pegado abandoned that pretense and instead employed witnesses who testified using false names and occupations. The most important of these phony witnesses was a man who called himself Dr. Ebrahim. With Lauri Fitz-Pegado there in New York, he claimed to have personally buried 40 babies pulled from incubators by the Iraqis. Dr. Ebrahim told the Security Council that he was a surgeon. But after the war, when the scam was exposed as a total fraud, he admitted to being a dentist and had never buried any babies or seen any. More lies.

The Fitz-Pegado scam continues. Mr. Chairman, as a supporter of our country’s involvement in the Gulf War, I am offended that Lauri Fitz-Pegado believes that those kinds of illegal and unethical activities were necessary to get this country to face the threat of Saddam Hussein. None of & these facts and allegations were disclosed to either you Mr. Chairman, or other Members of the Banking Committee when her nomination was voted on here.

If confirmed, Lauri Fitz-Pegado would have control over a global network of 200 trade offices in 70 countries. My opposition is based not on party or ideology. It is based on the fact that there are few people in America who have less business being in charge of our Nation’s trade secrets than Lauri Fitz-Pegado.

Lauri Fitz-Pagado's nomination should be returned to the Banking Committee for further review. If it is not, then facts that are far more embarrassing to Ms. Fitz-Pegado and to others in Government will be revealed in other speeches and in long, protracted debate on the Senate floor.

Mr. Chairman, the Banking Committee was hoodwinked by a professional scam artist. Lauri Fitz-Pegado should be asked to disclose her entire past and then be prepared to defend what I believe is a totally indefensible past.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Senator D’AMATO. Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Senator D’Amato.

Senator D’AMATO. Mr. Chairman, I would urge the Chairman to consider the Senator from North Carolina, Senator Faircloth's request.

I know that he does not make this request in anything other than the spirit of honesty and fair play and not in partisanship. I know he feels deeply about this matter. He has conferred with me about it, Mr. Chairman, and I know the Senator and his staff will make available to you and your staff an outline of those matters that he has withheld and has not gone forward on, and that you might then reconsider this request.

I’d urge you to consider that. I think in fairness to everyone, that might be the best course of action, to ask that this be sent back to the Committee for further consideration. I join in the request. I did not oppose the nominee, but I am very much concerned at this point in time before we go further.

The CHAIRMAN. Let me take this request and the suggestion under advisement. Senator Faircloth and I have not discussed this previously, and so this is an issue that we do need to discuss personally beyond what's been said here now. I will plan to do that with you. Then we'll see where we go from there.

Senator FAIRCLOTH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. I want to note that Senator Nighthorse Campbell was here and may be able to return. He had another situation.

He's been a very important voice on this issue in the Veterans' Affairs Committee as well, and feels very strongly about this issue. In any event, he's next in the order and I will recognize him at any point at which he returns.

Senator Bond.
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Re: United States Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and Their Impact

Postby admin » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:28 pm

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR CHRISTOPHER S. BOND

Senator BOND. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I thank you for calling this important hearing to investigate the causes of the Persian Gulf War Syndrome because many U.S. veterans and their families are currently suffering.

I think we owe it to our veterans to do everything we can to determine the causes of the Gulf War Syndrome, to develop and research cures for these veterans who are affected, and to do whatever we can to better prepare and protect our service personnel from illnesses associated with this syndrome in any future conflicts.

Mr. Chairman, I have a lengthy statement. I am just going to highlight a couple of items on it because, No. 1, I have another commitment at 11 a.m., and, No. 2, I think it might be well if we could get to our witnesses before noon.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes, indeed.

Senator BOND. So I will just summarize to say that we have thousands of American servicemen and women who are suffering from symptoms and undiagnosable disorders. It is consistent with exposure to biological or chemical toxins.

I think, collectively, the facts make it at least possible that these Gulf War veterans were exposed to chemical and/or biological toxins, and I support Public Law 103-210, which provides additional authority for the Secretary of Veterans' Affairs to provide priority health care to the veterans of the Persian Gulf War who have been exposed to these toxic substances, environmental hazards, or whatever caused this syndrome.

I think we have a duty, not only to these veterans, but to others, to investigate fully whether or not chemicals or biologicals were used on the troops and what caused the problems that they are now encountering.

I do have some real concerns. First, I find it disturbing that the Department of Defense has not been as forthcoming on this issue as I feel they must. It's been almost 2½ years since the Gulf War and it does not appear to have been a Defense Department priority to get to the bottom of the causes of Gulf War Syndrome. It may or may not be a result of chemical or biological warfare. But the odds of this syndrome affecting future units in combat is grave enough to warrant full and speedy investigation.

Second, it would appear that a thorough re-evaluation of our defenses against biological and chemical warfare is in order.

Finally, I am concerned about the possibility that these adverse effects on the veterans could have come from the administration of the nerve agent pretreatment drugs and inoculations distributed to our Armed Forces. A research specialist has commented that the drug was unproven. And I really think we have to do more research on the side effects of this drug and the advisability of administering it to our troops. No. 1, could it have caused some of the problems? No. 2, was it effective? What are its risks? I think these open up a tremendous number of questions that should be addressed.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to have my full statement made a part of the record.

The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the full statement will be made a part of the record. I appreciate your summary comments very much.

Senator Bennett.
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Re: United States Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and Their Impact

Postby admin » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:29 pm

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR ROBERT F. BENNETT

Senator BENNETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I will be brief, as I, too, want to hear from the witnesses. But I want to underline several themes that have been made here.

First, with respect to the responsibility of the Government not to lie to its citizens.

I come from a State where we have a group of people called the Downwinders, people who lived in the 1950's downwind from the atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons that took place in Nevada. The Downwinders were told that they should go out and look at the clouds as they went by because it would be a great experience that they could describe to their children. Then they were told that the cancer rates that occurred in southern Utah as a result of people who were exposed to that radiation and fallout were somehow just coincidental. The Government clearly lied to its citizens in that circumstance.

So it goes back, as you say, through a lot of Presidents and a lot of Administrations and a lot of parties. One of my heroes, Dwight Eisenhower, was President when that was being done. In the name of national security, we lied to our citizens. We exposed them to health risks and then we tried to cover up after the fact.

More to the point, recently, I toured the military installation at Dougway, Utah. Some people may not know about Dougway, Utah. It is the prime storage facility for nerve gas and other chemical and biological weapons in the United States, and for many years Dougway was the place where the testing of the efficacy of these weapons went on.

Dougway is now entirely defensive, appropriately. We do not do any production or testing of potential American weapons in this regard, but we do a great deal of testing of ways to prevent and defend ourselves against attacks from other countries.

The military is cutting back on its activities in Dougway, saying that these defensive kinds of tests are not needed anymore. I'm not here to debate the military budget on that issue. But I think as we raise these questions, we should very carefully revisit the decision to cut back on America's capability to develop defenses against this kind of thing. Having been so recently at the site where this capability is going on, I think it-well, it comes very firmly to my own approach to this to say, maybe we're too hasty in cutting back some of that defensive activity.

But, ultimately, the thing that will bring the greatest anger as far as the Junior Senator from Utah is concerned is the issue that the Chairman has raised, in another context, the Senator from North Carolina has raised, and that is the issue of lying to Congress. I think it's indefensible to consider that any member of any Administration, in an attempt to cover up an agency position-and by agency, I include Cabinet-level officers-would come before the Congress and attempt to mislead the Congress.

I associate myself entirely with the Chairman's promise-and I think it is a promise, not a threat-to pursue any witness who attempts to mislead the Congress in an effort to protect the reputation of his or her agency. I think that applies to the issues raised, as I say, by the Senator from North Carolina. But it certainly applies to the issues here.

If, as a result of activity on the part of our enemies in the Gulf War, we are sustaining belated casualties, we need to know about it, and we need to know as quickly and as openly and as completely as we can about it. And there is no better constitutional vehicle to find out this truth than the Congress of the United States.

I hope those who represent the Executive Branch understand their constitutional responsibility, taken at the time they raised their hands and took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution,, that that includes being honest and open and straightforward with the Congress and its constitutionally elected officers.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Senator Bennett. I appreciate your comments very much.

Let me indicate our first panel of witnesses today includes Edwin Dorn, who is the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. He is accompanied by Dr. Theodore Prociv-am I pronouncing that correctly?

Dr. PROCIV. It's "pro-siv," Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Prociv-the Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Weapons; and by Dr. John Kriese, who is the Chief Officer for Ground Forces at the Defense Intelligence Agency.

I want to welcome you all. Let me ask you to please stand and raise your right hand. Do you swear or affirm that the testimony you’re about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Mr. DORN. I do.

Dr. PROCIV. I do.

Dr. KRIESE. I do.

The CHAIRMAN. Very good. Thank you.

We have your prepared statement, Mr. Dorn, and I'd like you to take whatever time you need to set forth your understanding of this situation and the statement that you want to make to us this morning.
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Re: United States Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and Their Impact

Postby admin » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:30 pm

Part 1 of 3

OPENING STATEMENT OF EDWIN DORN, UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR PERSONNEL AND READINESS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, WASHINGTON, DC; ACCOMPANIED BY: DR. THEODORE M. PROCIV, DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, WASHINGTON, DC; AND DR. JOHN KRIESE, CHIEF OFFICER FOR GROUND FORCES, DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, WASHINGTON, DC

Mr. DORN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee.

Mr. Chairman, in your opening statement, you used three key words—honor, integrity, responsibility. Those are words that I take very seriously and I hope, in that fashion, to work with you—in fact, to work with other Members of this body—to ensure that we do the right thing in this instance.

I'm pleased to provide information to support the Committee's review of how materials contributing to Iraq's chemical and biological warfare program were exported to Iraq from the United States. These are significant issues as you consider measures to strength the Export Administration Act.

Secretary Perry has asked me to be the focal point within the Defense Department for issues related to service in the Persian Gulf during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. I'm here today in that capacity.

Senator, you and other Members of this Committee have made very clear your concern about the health problems that some of our Persian Gulf veterans have developed. We, in the Department of Defense, share that concern.

In recent weeks, we've testified before the Armed Services Committees and the Veterans' Affairs Committees of both Houses. I'll be pleased to share with you the same information we shared with them.

Indeed, before we move on to discuss matters related to the Export Administration Act, I'd like to offer a few points about our efforts on behalf of Persian Gulf veterans. May I begin, Senator, with a memorandum to Persian Gulf veterans, recently co-signed by Secretary Perry and by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

With your indulgence, Senator, I would like to read this into the record:

As you may know, there have been reports that some Persian Gulf veterans are experiencing health problems that may be related to their service in the Gulf. We want to assure each of you that your health and well-being are top priorities for the Department of Defense.

There are many hazards of war, ranging from intense combat to environmental exposures. Anyone who has health problems resulting from those hazards is entitled to health care.

If you—

And keep in mind, Mr. Chairman, this is being sent to Persian Gulf War veterans:

If you are experiencing problems, please come in for medical evaluation. Active-duty personnel and their eligible family members should report to any military hospital and ask to be include in the Department's Persian Gulf War Health Surveillance System.

You will receive a full medical evaluation and any medical care that you need. Reserve personnel may contact either a military hospital or their nearest Veterans' Affairs medical center and ask to be included in the DoD Surveillance System or the VA's Persian Gulf Health Registry.

You will receive a full medical examination. Depending on the results of the evaluation and eligibility status, reserve personnel will receive medical care either from military facilities or from VA facilities.

This memo goes on, Mr. Chairman.

There have been reports in the press of the possibility that some of you were exposed to chemical or biological weapons agents. There is no information, classified or unclassified, that indicates that chemical or biological weapons were used in the Persian Gulf. There also have been reports that some veterans believe there are restrictions on what they can say about potential exposures.

Please be assured that you should not feel constrained in any way from discussing these issues. We are indebted to each one of you for your service to your country during the Persian Gulf War and throughout your military careers. We also want to be sure that you receive any medical care you need.

Thank you for your service.

Signed, John M. Shalikashvili, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense.

Mr. Chairman, we take the position that the veterans who are sick should receive the best care we can provide. Three years ago, we trusted these men and women to make life and death decisions in the heat of battle. Today, we should trust them if they say they're sick. We're committed to treating the symptoms, to fashioning appropriate compensation for those who are disabled, and to identifying the causes of their illnesses.

An interagency coordinating board ensures that the Defense Department's treatment and research programs complement related efforts by the Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services.

I should note here, Mr. Chairman, that Congress aided our ability to respond last fall by authorizing the Veterans' Administration to provide priority care to Persian Gulf veterans for conditions that might be related to their Gulf service.

We’re especially concerned about those Desert Shield/Desert Storm veterans who since the war have developed symptoms whose causes we cannot identify. These veterans represent a small portion of the nearly 700,000 U.S. military personnel who served in the Persian Gulf region during the conflict and, indeed, they represent a small portion of those who have been treated for illnesses or injuries suffered during the war.

DoD and VA doctors have treated thousands of Persian Gulf veterans for readily identifiable illnesses and injuries. We know of a few thousand people, however, for whom a clear diagnosis continues to elude physicians, and this is the group that we consider to be experiencing the Persian Gulf Syndrome or the mystery illness.

We're working very hard on this. There are lots of theories about causes. We've heard from people who are convinced that we'll find the answer if we only focus solely on parasitic diseases, or focus solely on the effects of Kuwaiti oil smoke, or on industrial pollutants, or on the effects of inoculations, or solely on stress, or on multiple chemical sensitivity. What we are trying to do is maintain a program that explores all the possibilities.

In the course of our work, of course, some possibilities begin to appear less plausible than others. One theory involves Iraq's chemical and biological warfare capability. It's that theory which provides a connection between the health problems of Persian Gulf War veterans and the Senate Banking Committee's review of the Export Administration Act.

At the time of its invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, Iraq clearly represented a case in which past efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction had not been effective.

Many American policymakers and military commanders were greatly concerned going into that war that Iraq would use chemical and/or biological weapons. They knew they had used chemical weapons in the past and we had evidence that they had acquired a biological warfare capability as well. Our concerns led us to take measures to protect our personnel against such weapons, through immunizations, through special training, equipment, and detection.

The tension surrounding the possible use of chemical or biological weapons was evident to every American who watched on television as journalists scrambled to put on protective masks in response to the SCUD attack warning sirens in downtown Riyadh and other areas. There were many such alarms witnessed by United States and other coalition military personnel and by the civilian populations of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Israel.

Following the war, we confirmed through inspections conducted by the United Nations Special Commission that Iraq did have significant stocks of chemical agents and the weapons systems to deliver them, as well as equipment and material suited for chemical agent production.

All of these chemical agents and related equipment were found stored at locations a great distance from the Kuwait theater of operations. These materials have been undergoing destruction at a centralized location in Iraq under the supervision of the United Nations Special Commission since late 1992.

United States military personnel have been present on site in Iraq and involved in each of the teams overseeing these destruction operations. We've concluded that Iraq did not use chemical or biological weapons during the war. This conclusion is based on analysis of large amounts of detailed data gathered in the theater and reviewed after the war.

First, throughout the operation, there was only one instance of a soldier who was treated for chemical burns that were initially attributed to mustard agent. A subsequent test on the soldier and his clothing, however, did not definitely support that finding. We know of no other reports of any U.S. military, coalition military, or civilians in the region having symptoms caused by exposure to chemical or biological warfare agents.

Mr. Chairman, the effects of chemical and biological weapons are acute and readily identifiable, and our personnel had been trained to look for them. The effects of exposure on unprotected people are painful debilitating, and often deadly. We did not see those effects in the Gulf.

Second, our detectors were strategically located and, although many detectors alarmed, there were no confirmed detections of any chemical or biological agents at any time during the conflict.

Third-

The CHAIRMAN. Let me just stop you there for a moment.

Did we have in the field machinery or monitoring equipment to pick up biological agents?

Mr. DORN. I will turn to my colleague, Dr. Kriese, to answer that. We can do it now or following the statement.

The CHAIRMAN. Can you give me a yes or no now? I don't want to interrupt the rest of your presentation.

Dr. KRIESE. Let me just briefly say, sir, that there's a difference between detectors and timely detectors. We did not have real-time detectors present, but we did have detectors-

The CHAIRMAN. On biological weapons?

Dr. KRIESE. Yes, sir, that sampled the air and looked for traces of biological-

The CHAIRMAN. So to say that there was no confirmed detection of biological agents, when in fact we didn't have real-time devices there to measure that, is a little misleading, wouldn't you say?

Dr, KRIESE. Sir, I would offer that, as we're sampling air on a continuing basis, we would know about any BW agents shortly after they entered the area.

The CHAIRMAN. Even without monitoring devices?

Dr. KRIESE. The monitoring devices take awhile to give an answer.

The CHAIRMAN. Two years? Three years?

Dr. KRIESE. Dr. Prociv?

The CHAIRMAN. Let me go ahead and let you finish, Mr. Dorn. We'll come back to that.

Dr. PROCIV. Let me just add, the collection and analysis devices, particularly the BIDS, the Biological Identification Systems, take generally in the range of 1 to 2 hours to complete their scheme. But once they do, they identify the species quite readily. We had no Positives in that detection system.

The CHAIRMAN. We'll come back to that.

Senator BENNETT. Would the Chairman yield?

The CHAIRMAN. Yes.

Senator BENNETT. I also don't want to interrupt, but I would hope, when you say, we have no such indication, you would address the reports of the Czech-

Mr. DORN. I certainly will.

Senator BENNETT. OK Thank you.

Mr. DORN. I also want to emphasize the word, confirmed. As you know, there were lots of reports of detections. There is a protocol, however, a procedure which these gentlemen can describe in greater detail, that we use to confirm whether an initial alarm or detection is a valid one.

If I may go on.

Third, no chemical or biological weapons were found in the Kuwait theater of operations. And by Kuwait theater of operations, I mean those portions of southern Iraq and Kuwait that constituted the battlefield. We did not find any chemical or biological munitions, live or spent, among the thousands of tons of munitions recovered on the battlefield.

The international community agrees with these conclusions. This is a complicated and contentious issue, however. To ensure that we’ve not overlooked or misinterpreted important information, we've asked an independent panel of experts, chaired by Nobel Laureate Joshua Lederberg, to review all the available evidence. We expect to receive the panel's report in June.

We also remain eager to bear from Gulf War veterans who feel they can shed light on the sources of the undiagnosed illnesses.

Mr. Chairman, may I say to Colonel Smith and to other veterans who served courageously in the Persian Gulf, the following: I understand the fear and the frustration that many veterans are experiencing. They're sick and their doctors can't offer them definitive answers. To them, let me say, this Administration is committed to treating you fairly. You stood up for the Nation. The Nation is going to stand up for you.

Now let me turn to the Defense Department's role in the export licensing process.

First, it should be noted that DoD is not a licensing agency. That responsibility falls on the Department of Commerce for dual-use items. The Department of Defense, however, reviews and provides recommendations on export license applications when they're referred to Defense, or to inter-agency groups in which Defense participates.

Records on the ultimate disposition of dual-use biological, chemical, nuclear, or missile technology-related licenses reside in the Commerce Department.

DoD is a member of the inter-agency Subgroup on Nuclear Export Controls, which was in operation throughout the 1980's. This group reviews export requests for nuclear-related dual-use technology.

In the missile area, Defense played a significant role in the establishment of the missile technology control regime in 1987, and subsequently helped set up an interagency license review group in 1990.

In the chemical and biological area, Defense also plays an important role as part of an inter-agency team in reviewing export license requests for items controlled by the Australia Group.

The Department has taken, and will continue to take, its responsibility here very seriously. For example, DoD made an important contribution in halting export of the Argentine Condor Program that was aiding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program. And we spearheaded the effort to prevent Iraq from acquiring a more capable missile than the SCUD.

Defense also played a leading role in developing the President's Enhanced Proliferation Control Initiative and most recently, the Comprehensive DoD Counterproliferation Initiative. The Department of Defense continues to consider proliferation as a significant military threat.

The growing ability to produce and use chemical weapons is a great concern to DoD. We fully support any measures that will prevent or control this proliferation, which includes strengthening the Export Administration Act.

It is important to remember that all exports made to Iraq in the 1980's were completely consistent with the laws in effect at that time, and Iraq was not considered a hostile country. Defense's role in reviewing exports was greatly expanded in 1991, and would be further expanded through measures you were considering in this Committee.

I would now like to introduce other members of the panel, if I may Dr. Theodore Prociv is the Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Weapons. In that role, he oversees the Department's chemical and biological defense program, the Army program to destroy the U.S. stockpile of chemical weapons, and the implementation of bilateral and multilateral chemical weapons treaties, including the chemical weapons convention, which is being considered currently by the Senate for ratification.

Additionally, his office has assisted the Defense Science Board Task Force on Gulf War health effects, which is examining the issue of Gulf War health, and has assisted my staff with technical support in the area of chemical and biological warfare defense.

My other associate is Dr. John Kriese, who is Chief Officer for Ground Forces at the Defense Intelligence Agency. He is responsible for production of intelligence on Foreign ground forces and associated weapons systems worldwide, and all aspects of foreign nuclear and chemical programs.

Dr. Prociv and Dr. Kriese are here with me this morning. Dr. Mitchell Wallerstein, who will testify this afternoon, is an expert in counterproliferation and export control for the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in International Security.

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my opening statement. But before we turn to questions, I wonder if I might beg your indulgence so that Dr. Prociv and Dr. Kriese might say a few words.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes, I want them to do so, but I want to know whether they can give an assurance here, based on their expertise and credentials, that there are no Desert Storm veterans that were exposed to chemical or biological agents during the war period that now account for their illnesses.

Mr. DORN. Mr. Chairman, they will not provide you that assurance because we cannot provide that assurance at this point.

The CHAIRMAN. All right. That puts you on the record and I'm glad to have you on the record stating the fact that you can't give that assurance. I want them to make a direct professional comment on that question before I go any further.

Mr. DORN. May I clarify further?

This is a very contentious area. It is very easy to confuse use of chemical agents with presence of chemical agents and exposure.

I want to distinguish between Iraq's use of chemical or biological agents, a matter on which we are quite confident, and a second question, which is whether or not there may have been chemical agents present at a very low level within the theater of operations. And on that latter matter there continues to be some concern.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, now, wait a minute. Now you're saying there's a reason for some concern. You're saying, as far as you know now, there was no offensive use of these weapons by the Iraqis that you've been able to establish. But you're drawing a very fine line to say that there may very well have been exposures to chemical agents during the war period.

Mr. DORN. As you alluded to in your opening statement, Mr. Chairman, there were reports by the Czechs of the detection of very low levels of chemical agents. Those reports were never confirmed independently.

Nevertheless, last October, I believe it was, representatives from the Defense Intelligence Agency began a re-review of that Czech detection. You know that Senator Shelby also spent 2 or 3 days in the Czech Republic talking with officials who had been involved in that, including the commander of the unit that had made those detections in Saudi Arabia. As a result, we have accepted those detections as likely valid detections, even though we have not found the independent confirmatory evidence.

The CHAIRMAN. We're going to come back to this and I want to keep our respective blood pressures down to a civil level here today.

We have already bad testimony here before the Senate from a chemical detection unit officer in the field running a FOX unit who detected chemical agents, and he wasn't a Czech soldier. He was a member of our military.

Mr. DORN. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. He actually has a print-out of that. He's not the only one, by the way, who's done that. You must be aware of that. Are you erasing that? Are you discarding that as not being-

Mr. DORN. I'm not erasing it at all, Mr. Chairman. Perhaps Dr. Kriese

The CHAIRMAN. Please, unless you're here to say that these first-person accounts that we've been given by people who are in the field desired to make these measurements are wrong or inaccurate, I think it is misleading for you to say that the only evidence we have is from the Czechs. That's not an accurate statement. Do you want to say again that it is an accurate statement, that we don't have any reports up through our own military chain of command?

Mr. DORN. We have reports through our military chain of command. What I am saying is that we are dealing with a protocol here. As you know, there were any number of reports or alarms of chemical agent detection during the conflict. There was a procedure for verifying those initial detections. Those secondary tests did not verify the initial detection. That is as close as I can come to the technology here. But there is simply a procedure by which one confirms an initial suspicion. Those initial suspicions were not confirmed in hundreds of instances.

Senator BENNETT. Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes, Senator Bennett. After Senator Bennett asks his question, with all due respect, I put a question to the two people that you've brought here today, and I want direct, specific, under-oath answers, not from you on this point, but from them. Then if you want to elaborate, Mr. Dorn, you're free to do so.

Senator Bennett.

Senator BENNETT. Mr. Chairman, I simply want to inject this thought into this conversation.

Implicit in your answer, Mr. Secretary, is the idea that there was something wrong with those initial reports. That is, there was something that could not be confirmed. Therefore, there was some malfunction. There was some panic on the part of the individual. There was something-whatever it's attributed to. In every case, as I understand your testimony, you're saying that the initial reports which are included in detail in this report filed by the Chairman and the Ranking Member, Mr. D'Amato, were wrong.

Is there a possibility, sir, that there is something technically, technologically wrong with the confirmation process, that in fact the initial reports were accurate and that the confirmation process, either through lack of time so that there is a half-life or whatever-I'm not a scientist, so I can't really help you very much in trying to find out what it is.

Isn’t there a possibility that the statement you have made is 100 percent accurate, but that the procedures used in the confirmation process may be faulty, so that, in fact, we end up with the circumstance that the reports are correct and that the reports did, indeed, find some kind of presence of either chemical or biological agents in the area and that the confirmation process is where we have seen this thing break down, rather than the assumption that the confirmation process is valid in every circumstance and therefore, the reports must be disregarded. Can you comment on that?

Mr. DORN. It's a fascinating question, Senator Bennett, and since it deals with the technical capabilities of our equipment, I'd like to defer to Dr. Prociv to address it.

Dr. PROCIV. Let me try to take that. That's an excellent question.

The way we detect chemical agents now, the initial detection of the alarm comes from an M8 detector. The M8 detector is an ionization detector that's not highly specific. It's sensitive to categories of compounds, so it's a good indication that we may have a problem in the area.

The M8 detector generally will detect between 0.1 and 0.5 milligram minutes per cubic meter. We then follow up with an M256 kit. Now this is a hand-held kit that basically is a little chemical laboratory in your pocket. The M256 kit is very specific and very, very sensitive. It goes three orders of magnitude better than the M8 alarm does. So even if materials have dissipated after the initial alarm, you should be able to pick it up with the M256 kit. I've worked with that kit and I have a lot of confidence in that kit.

Senator BENNETT. Are you aware of the fact that, reported in this document, there are those who say that their M256 kits did indeed test positive?

Dr. PROCIV. I haven't seen this report and I am not aware of those. I'm sorry, sir.

Senator BENNETT. I'll see if I can find them. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I'll call them to your attention later on. I noticed them as I was reading through this report.

The CHAIRMAN. Very good. No, this is a problem that we have. It's like two different worlds here, two different realities.

You folks seem to find one reality and the more we dig into this, a broad number of us, both parties, House and Senate, the more we find a starkly different reality. It's extremely troubling. And when I finish with the questions that we're going to go t rough today, I think it's going to be even harder for people to understand the position of the Defense Department, that it can't find this problem, can't see this problem, doesn't think the problem exists.

Senator BENNETT. Mr. Chairman, I have found it, with help from staff. I can very quickly respond.

Dale Glover was a Staff Sergeant with-

Mr. DORN. Senator, can you let us know the page? As you know, this report was just produced. We have not had an opportunity to review it.

Senator BENNETT. OK. It's on page 79, Event 13. Dale Glover was a Staff Sergeant with the 1165th Military Police Company. He recalled being awakened at 3:30 a.m. The Battalion NBC NCO was announcing that they were under chemical attack. An M256 kit registered a positive reading for a chemical agent. They went to MOPP level 4 for 4 hours. Afterward, all of them had runny noses.

So here is the case where the kit you have described registered positive, unless you have information that Mr. Glover is somehow mistaken about what happened. But this appears to me to be an eyewitness account contemporary with the event, reporting that the kit that you have described as being very, very accurate, produced a result contrary to that which you just told the Committee occurred.

Dr. PROCIV. Let me take a second to review this, Senator.

[Pause.]

OK. The commentary—by the way, I have Col. Merriman here. She was the NBC officer at the Gulf and worked with the staff there. So all of the NBC reports, NBC events, went through her. This is a document that she prepared for me. It says, Mr. Glover sent out an M43 detector, but not connected to the M42 alarm. When notified they were under attack, Mr. Glover went out to check the M43. The visual signal was blinking on one detector. According to Mr. Glover, there were several possible causes for the detector alarm, like a sonic bomb that occurred shortly before the chemical alert. Pesticides or vehicle exhaust could have set it off.

Mr. Glover and the Battalion NBC NCO conducted a 256 A-1 kit. Both received a positive pale red color on the nerve agent test spot, but the accuracy of this reading is suspect. Both men were using red lens in their flashlights. This is a defensive measure. Mr. Glover stated one test kit nerve agent spot was a deeper red than the other test kit. Correct colors for nerve agent tests are blue for safe and clear or peach for nerve. That's the explanation that we've been given.

Senator BENNETT. Can you go back—I don't mean to interfere.

The CHAIRMAN. No, please do, Senator Bennett. This is very important.

Senator BENNETT. Go back to page 66 on this document, Witness No. 04. I have not gone through this that carefully. I was just thumbing through it while we were going on. This kind of sprung out at me.

Witness No. 04, Mr. Harold Jerome Edwards, the chemical NCO in charge of the Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Team for the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24 Air Detachment at the King Abdul Aziz Naval Air Station was interviewed by the U.S. Senate staff on January 13, 1994. During that interview, Mr. Edwards said he conducted three M256 tests for chemical agents on the evening of this event.

Mr. DORN. Can we get a date, Senator? We have not looked at this, and so we're not quite certain what time period we're talking about here.

Senator BENNETT. I don't have that here.

The CHAIRMAN. Apparently, January 19 or January 20.

Senator BENNETT. Two of the three tests he conducted were positive for chemical blister agents. He said that the negative test was conducted in an area in between a number of rows of tents. He also said that he reported this information to his unit commander.

Mr. Edwards said that a member of the unit, Tom Muse, blistered in the area under his watch during the event. The all-clear was given from a higher command. Mr. Edwards was called out to serve on a chemical decontamination team that day, and so on and so forth.

But here is another report of an M256 test that was positive, in this case, two positive tests.

We'll keep looking for some more.

The CHAIRMAN. Let me just say for the record, every single one of these documents that are now being produced that are designed to rebut these things, which apparently, nobody knew about, but everybody's prepared to respond to, I want it made part of the record. And can I be assured that we'll have any and all of that information, Mr. Dorn?

Mr. DORN. Yes, you certainly can, Senator.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.

Mr. DORN. We appreciate seeing your report so that we have an opportunity to respond to it.

The CHAIRMAN, I'm reminded by staff, and it's important that we add this to the record. Prior to our release of this report, this information was delivered to the Defense Department. This is not new information. You didn't get this last night.

Mr. DORN. That may be right. That's probably --

The CHAIRMAN. Well, find out if it's right. I'm saying to you it's right. So don't leave the inference that you've just had it for a few hours.

Mr. DORN. No, clearly, we knew about this particular information. I'm referring to the broad report.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you know tow you knew about it? Because you got it from us.

Mr. DORN. That may be. And let me point out, Senator, I do not see this as an adversary process. As you and other Members of this Committee had pointed out, people occasionally will come to you with information that they do not share with us. They come to you because you are their Senator and they see you as accessible.

We hope we can develop a sharing relationship. A member of your staff, Mr. Tuite, was kind enough to testify and provide information to our defense science board. That may be the source of some of this information. We also have gotten a great deal of useful information through our exchanges with the House and Senate Armed Services Committees and with the Veterans' Affairs Committees. So this should be a constructive process.

I can assure you that my job here is to find out what happened, to ensure that treatment is provided, and ultimately, to get at what's behind the illnesses that some Persian Gulf veterans are experiencing.

I have seen no information which suggests that anyone with whom I've worked in the Defense Department, or in the Congress, has any other mission than to get to the truth.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, you're certainly welcome to put that statement on the record.

The fact of the matter is that it's taking a very long time to get to the truth here. What I would like to do now-Senator Bennett, did you want to pursue any further that one issue, because I want to go back to the outstanding question raised earlier and I want a direct answer from the two experts that are here.

Senator BENNETT. I simply want to summarize what I said earlier, which is the statement that there was no confirmation at all runs contrary to what the Czechs said. You've addressed that by saying, in your opinion, the Czech monitoring was insignificant.

Mr. DORN. No. I said the concentration of agent they detected at the incident that I recall, which was north of King Khalid Military City at Hafir Al Batin on January 19, was a very low concentration of agent. I did not say that the finding was insignificant in a judgmental sense.

Senator BENNETT. OK.

Mr. DORN. We're talking about the level of agent that they reported detecting.

Senator BENNETT. Good. I'm glad to get that clarified.

Mr. DORN. OK.

Senator BENNETT. Then you said there was no confirmation. And my point is there appears to have been some confirmation, for which there may be explanations. But there have been confirmations reported to the Congress.

The question I raise with you has to do with whether or not the confirmation procedure is viable, given the fact that we have what we have-that is, a number, a significant number of people suffering from something that they apparently picked up in the Gulf, at least there is that common thread, just as there were with the legionnaires who attended their convention, that took us a couple of years to figure out what it was.

There is the possibility that I hope you’re hanging onto that your confirmation procedures are flawed and that the existence of these people who have these problems is a prima facie case for the fact that they may be flawed, I don't think that we can just automatically say, well, the confirmation didn't find it. Therefore, there's nothing to worry about.

Mr. DORN. Senator Bennett, this gives me an opportunity to talk about the process and to amplify, if I may, Mr. Chairman, this give and take.

We have received large amounts of information and large numbers of questions from Members of Congress, from veterans organizations, and from others. It is our task when we receive those to track them down, to identify the units and the people involved, to conduct interviews, where necessary.

Ltc. Vicki Merriman, who was introduced earlier, has been involved in a great deal of that tracking down, and we are talking about, in some instances, hundreds of leads that have to be teased out. All of this information then gets resifted through the Lederberg panel or through other ways, so that we can come forward to you. In some instances, we cannot get a direct answer quickly.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Well, let me just say at this point, and you'll find this interesting too, I think, Senator Bennett.

In February, the Defense Science Advisory Board contacted the Banking Committee and asked for a list of witnesses who may have-of what may have been direct Iraqi attacks in the context of this discussion. We gave a list of at least one person from each event to the Department of Defense. These persons were then called by the Department of Defense. And I'm going to describe to you what happened.

It's been reported back to us by a number of those interviewed by DoD that, rather than being asked substantive questions about the events and to locate other witnesses that might have been at the events, high-ranking military officers-and we can talk about who they are-said to individuals that they were mistaken. They were told that the Iraqis did not have the ability to initiate these types of attacks, which we know to be false because we got the stockpiles after the war, if nothing else. And you should know that.

Now, I don't know whether that comes as news to you or not, but I can arrange for you to talk to those people-

Mr. DORN. I will do it, Senator.

The CHAIRMAN. Who, hopefully, will say to you what they said to us, that they got a phone call saying, tell us everything you know. Lay it all out. It was a scripted phone call where they were presented with an approach that said, it couldn't be a certain thing because that was off the table as a possibility.

I think any time you're using people to do this kind of investigative work that may have some stake in what was done previously, as well as the decision-making chain leading up to these events can-I don't say does, but can-cause a problem.

I've been very troubled by that. I think whoever is making the phone calls, whether it's Ltc. Merriman or anybody else, can't be calling with a scripted approach that tries to tailor the answer that presumably is being asked for from the person that they're calling. And we've had a problem in that area, just for your information.

Mr. DORN. Mr. Chairman, if I can get particulars, I will be more than happy to follow up.

The CHAIRMAN. You'll get them. You'll get them because, again, we’re not going to let any assertions be made on the record here where we have contrary information. And I appreciate very much Senator Bennett raising the issue with respect to these testing kits.

Now let me come back to my question to your two colleagues. Can you give us here today your professional certification that there were no exposures of Gulf War veterans to either chemical agents or biological agents out there in that war zone?

Dr. PROCIV. Since I've taken this position, Mr. Chairman, I have reviewed a lot of data and a lot of cases. My statement that I do not believe that any chemical agents were used by the Iraqis-

The CHAIRMAN. No, that's not what I said. I understand doubletalk when I hear it. That's not what I asked you.

[Laughter.]

That's not what I asked you. And with all due respect, let me repeat it again because I'd like an answer to my question, and then if you want to elaborate, you can.

I realize everybody's designed here to veer off into the question as to whether there was an attack, a verifiable attack by the Iraqis to use these weapons. I did not pose that question. I asked you under oath for your professional opinion to give me a certification of your belief and confidence that no Gulf War veterans had any exposure to chemical agents or biological agents while they were in the war zone. Now can you give us that certification, regardless of the source?

Dr. PROCIV. Again, Mr. Chairman, I'm not a medical doctor. I don't understand a lot of the medical symptomology. What I do understand is that when chemical agents are used, and I understand how they are dispersed, I understand how they're detected, in all of the evidence that I have seen that I can say in my own professional certification, I can say that I do not believe that any chemical agents entered the theater of operations and exposed any of our soldiers. That I can say.
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Re: United States Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and Their Impact

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Part 2 of 3

The CHAIRMAN. Well, I've got to make sure that I understand every single word in your sentence here. I want to make sure because you're putting your professional reputation on the line, and you're doing it under oath. Meanwhile, I've got a lot of sick veterans all across the country, some in the room today, who heard the chemical alarms going off all the time, even though the chemical alarms were set at a much higher level than we know can cause a problem if there's extended exposure. You know that as well.

But you're telling us, in your testimony today, that it is your best professional belief that we don't have a single veteran coming back from the Gulf War who had an exposure to chemical agents or biological agents in that war zone. And you're here today under oath with your professional reputation on the line.

Dr. PROCIV. Sir, again, I'm here to say that, knowing what I know and what I've reviewed, I do not understand how any of our veterans could have been exposed-

The CHAIRMAN. I didn't ask-

Dr. PROCIV. I have to say it this way because I'm not a medical doctor, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Maybe we need a medical doctor to answer the question.

Let me ask the same question of you, Dr. Kriese.

Dr. KRIESE. Sir, in the intelligence community, one of our, if you will, reminders is that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. So I cannot say absolutely, categorically, that there was no chemical or biological use and nobody was affected. I can tell you that, based on all the evidence I've seen, my judgment is that it was not used. But as a professional, I cannot tell you-

The CHAIRMAN. Now when you say, not used, you mean by not used, you mean, what? That there was an offensive use of these weapons?

Dr. KRIESE. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. You've not been able to validate in your own mind an incident or instances where they would have been used in an offensive way.

Dr. KRIESE. That's correct, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. But you also make the point that you're not prepared to rule out the possibility that these agents got loose in some way and may in fact have had an effect on some people. You can't comment on one way or the other on that.

Dr. KRIESE. I think it's impossible to prove a negative. I don't mean that lightly, sir. This is a very difficult issue, with low levels, many people involved.

The CHAIRMAN. You see, it's difficult, when you have hundreds, and now thousands, of eyewitness accounts of people who are in the theater of operations and the chemical alarms go off. The chemical alarms sound.

Now the chemical alarms were not just sitting out there waiting. We designed them. We sent them out there. We put them there because we were worried that this might happen. That's why the chemical alarms were there in the first place. That's why all the gear was there in the first place.

That’s why we have job titles that some of you carry that talk about biological and chemical warfare, because this is a real issue and it's not somebody's invention. Saddam Hussein has done this in the past, killed his own people with these kinds of weapons. This isn't science fiction or fantasy.

So we understood that there might very well be a problem. We Put all the monitors out there and then the monitors kept sounding and people keep taking their MOPP gear on and off. There's no question in your mind about that having happened, is there?

Dr. KRIESE. No.

The CHAIRMAN. OK. How many times, to your knowledge, would you say the chemical alarms went off throughout the whole theater of operation where they were placed to try to detect the chemicals?

Dr. KRIESE. I think Dr. Prociv probably has a better estimate than I do.

Dr. PRociv. I can't quote an exact number, but there are times when those alarms are deliberately set off. For instance, in the regiment, the NBC platoons are required to, in fact, test those alarms. What may have fallen apart is that they may not have notified the soldiers they were testing the alarms. So, as a minimum, twice a day, they would have tested.

[Applause.]

No, please.

The CHAIRMAN. Let's have order.

Dr. PROCIV. I also will admit that they are prone to false alarms. They are prone-

The CHAIRMAN. But you can see all the possibilities. It's amazing to me how clear your mind is on all the reasons why the alarms could go off-how it could be an accident or mistake or faulty equipment.

So now we have a new question-why are we buying faulty equipment? Why are we putting faulty alarms out there? In fact, I don't understand why we're putting alarms out there that detect a level 1,000 times higher than what we know can cause a problem over a period of time.

Dr. PROCIV. I could quote some numbers there, also.

The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you this question. I'm going to ask you for the record. Again, I would urge you to measure your answer. Was the M8A1 automatic chemical agent detection alarm which was deployed during the war sufficiently sensitive to detect harmful exposure levels of chemical nerve agents?

Dr. PROCIV. The M8-yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Are you saying, then, that there could be an exposure level harmful to somebody that could come in beneath the level that device was scheduled to measure? If there were chronic exposures that went on for a period of time below those levels, couldn't those cause medical problems in people?

Dr. PROCIV. I believe that there is data that shows that chronic levels at very low levels do cause problems. But I believe it's only with-

The CHAIRMAN. But the machines weren't designed to pick that up, were they?

Dr. PROCIV. It was only with mustard, is my understanding.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, we'll get to that. But the machines were not designed to pick up low levels on a chronic level, were they?

Dr. PROCIV. No. The M8 detection, the range of 0.1 to 0.5. You can get myosis, which are the initial symptoms, at 0.005. But the first time that you get a runny nose is at 0.5. That's the second symptom. And 0.5 is well within the detection range of the M8.

The CHAIRMAN. We can go back and forth on this. The fact is-

Mr. DORN. Senator.

The CHAIRMAN. Let me just finish. He and I are having a discussion. I'd be happy to call on you in a minute.

I'm distressed about the fact that we've got a million reasons why we can't find the problem. We can't get to the root of this thing. We have all these sick veterans out there, wives and kids getting sick, and we just can't find out what's causing it.

Now, we're going to stay on this trail because I think it's quite clear what is causing part of it, and it falls into this zone. Not just the exposure to chemical items. I'm convinced that's part of it. you're not convinced that's part of it. We have a difference of opinion on that issue.

When you talk to the sick veterans who were in the theater of operation where the alarms were going off, the ones who are now sick are overwhelmingly convinced that there is a relationship. Now maybe you're smarter than they are and maybe they're smarter than you are. The consequences for them are a lot higher than they are for you because you're not sitting here sick, with all due respect.

[Applause.]

Dr. PROCIV. Sir, if I can just go on the record. I don't disagree that there are sick veterans. I was a veteran myself. I'm very sympathetic toward the veterans. I wouldn't be working for the Department of Defense-I just left a 20-year career in industry to work for the Department of Defense because I believe in this cause.

The CHAIRMAN. Let me give you another example of how powerfully real it is in the lives of real people.

Col. Smith over here who's sitting in the wheelchair spent 30 years in the military himself. He was in excellent health when he went over to the Persian Gulf, actually had prior training as a veterinarian, so he knows something about what causes people to get sick and die, and animals to get sick and die.

He's no longer in the service. I'm doing this from memory, but after a long struggle, he finally received a 20 percent, I think it is, service disability related to his problems, although he can hardly get up out of the wheelchair and walk.

When he was invited to go on the Phil Donahue Show to talk about this problem, as a guy with a background in this area who is very, very sick, he was told by somebody in the military, it would be a good idea for him not to wear his uniform and all those ribbons on his chest.

I've got to tell you, I'm much more concerned right now with sick veterans than I am with veterans like yourself who I respect very much who are not sick. I think if you were sick, if you were sitting in his wheelchair, your feeling about this would be dramatically different.

I think part of the problem here is that the people who ran the operation during the Gulf War are not sick because they were not the ones out into the area of exposure and who have not come back with these problems. And so, I think it's very hard sometimes for us to put ourselves in the other person's shoes. That's why it would be very healthy for some of these interviews to be conducted directly. I'm going to ask, and we're going to bring the witnesses in here, if I have to bring in 500 witnesses and we have to do this hour by hour by hour, we're going to get the Defense Department to pay sufficient attention to this problem.

I don't think that's happened yet, with all due respect. As Senator Bennett points out, with the atomic exposure problem years ago, and as I mentioned with the Agent Orange exposure, I think there's an enormous institutional difficulty for a bureaucracy, whether it's the Defense Department or some other agency of the Government, to ever come to terms with perhaps some grievance decision errors about equipment, about exposure, about things that maybe weren't properly planned for that happened after the fact. We have some of that here, and we're going to have to deal with it because you have a problem here that's a lot bigger than you understand right now.

You have wives and children that are sick. I don't know how many of them you've talked to. I'm going to give you some names of spouses that are sick, whose reproductive situation has been knocked completely haywire since their husbands have come back from the Persian Gulf, and some women veterans who have come back and whose reproductive situation is completely haywire.

They think, and I believe that they're right in thinking it, that they were exposed to agents out there that have caused this to happen. They had a perfect health profile before they went. In fact, they couldn't have gone without a good health profile.

You need to talk to them, not through intermediaries and the chain of command where everybody understands that if there's a line that we're going to follow here that there were no exposures and we're all going to hue to that point of view, it gets very easy to start to tailor what's being beard into that sort of channel. I've seen it too many times and I think it's happening here.

I want you to talk to some of these people. I want you to sit down and get right up close to them because if there is a problem where this thing is moving through families, as we now have enough anecdotal evidence for me to believe that it is, you ought to get up close to it. You ought to look at it. You ought to look at the sick kids, not just Col. Smith and the others that are here right now who have given as much or more time in uniform as you have and who are now sick and are being tossed out the side door, quite frankly.

That's what's happening because, in effect, there's a problem but we don't know what caused the problem. It couldn't be chemical. It couldn't be biological because we can't find any evidence of that. Therefore, we're not going to aim our treatment regime down that track because if it never happened, then that can't be the cause of the problem. So let's look for other things. Let's look for mental problems. Let's look for this. Let's look for that.

This is not a mental problem. It is a mental problem, I think, in the Defense Department. I think it's fair to say that because the defense establishment has decided that this problem has to be outside certain boundaries. Yet, all of the evidence is accumulating, and we're going to go through it here today. We've gotten sidetracked here, which is a little bit regrettable because I want to nail down specific things here and we're going to do that.

But I think what is happening here is that the Defense Department almost cannot allow itself to come to any conclusion that there could have been or was any significant amount of chemical or biological exposure. I can see a lot of reasons why that could be the conclusion that the Department would find itself backed into thinking that it had to reach.

I would like an assurance-and I don't know if you can give it, Secretary Dorn, or not-I'd like an assurance today, an iron-clad assurance that every active-duty military service person who served in the Gulf who now is sick and who is afraid to come forward, as many are because they're afraid that they're going to get drummed out of the service. It's tough to find jobs on the outside, especially if you're sick, if you're leaving the military because you've got a health problem. And it's very tough to remain in the Military if you’ve got a health problem, and especially if it's in this area that the Defense Department I don't think is very comfortable with.

We've got to have an assurance, and I'd like it stated explicitly by the Secretary, that no active-duty person will be sent out of the military if they come forward and indicate that they have these problems and that they won't be off-loaded for some other reason that's a fake reason. And that, in fact, if they have to leave the service because they are so sick coming off the service in the Gulf War, that they will get service-connected disability and so they're not just going to go out and land on the scrap heap and find they can't get a job and they're uninsurable.

I think we have to have that assurance, or you're never going to know how many people you have in the active-duty force that are sick. Can you give me at today or can you within the next few days give me a commitment that you'll get that from the Secretary?

Mr. DORN. I certainly can, Senator. I can say that we want people to come forward. We recently fashioned a new program, as you may know, for encouraging people to come forward and for giving them a systematic treatment protocol so that we can ensure that we are searching for everything we possibly can search for and so that we can assure that they're being given the best treatment. We also are working on the appropriate disability compensation rules.

There was an earlier mention by a Member of your Committee that the legislation needs to be changed so that we do not insist on proof of a service connection. That legislation has been proposed b Mr. Montgomery, the Chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee. We have been given an opportunity to comment on it.

But let me say further, Senator, if I can broaden this a little, we are trying not to close our eyes to things. This is one of the reasons we have asked the Lederberg group to look at the possible long-term effects of low levels of exposure to chemical agent. And this is why we have a range of research programs that look at a variety of possibilities from infectious agents to the possibility of environmental exposures.

Senator BENNETT. Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. I might just say that there already has been research done on that, as a matter of record, we've included it in our report. It's toward the end in an appendix, having to do with information developed by the U.S. Army Chemical Research Development Engineering Center, indicating the problems that do exist with prolonged low-level exposure. So-

Mr. DORN. I believe Mr. Tuite shared that information with the Lederberg panel.

He did not? OK.

The CHAIRMAN. Presumably, they would know about this.

Mr. DORN. They'll find it.

The CHAIRMAN. It's all the same operation. You see, if this is an issue that everybody really wants to understand, work that's al ready been done within the apparatus of the defense establishment ought to be the first thing that comes to the surface.

I would think that if the Defense Secretary turned around and said to the next person in command, I want every scrap of information that we have, anything that we've done. I want to know everything that there is to know that's in our files, records, research on chemical and biological testing, information of any and all sorts. I would assume that within a matter of days, if not hours, people could go like this and all the information he asked for would surface. Or am I wrong in that assumption?

Mr. DORN. We thought so, too. And you may recall that last November, in response to a request from another Senate Committee, we tried in the course of a week or two to produce definitive answers to questions such as those we are discussing today. We think we got pretty close, but it turned out that there was simply more information out there than we could reasonably digest in the course of a few days.

This is one of the reasons the Lederberg group has spent several months looking at this matter. On that panel are people who have spent many years studying a variety of issues that may be related to these illnesses and to possible exposures to a variety of environmental or chemical or biological agents in the Gulf. They are still hard at work producing their findings. But there is a lot of literature here.

The CHAIRMAN. I really don't want anybody else sent out into the field of battle where we're likely to run into chemical and biological weapons, where we know we've got a bad guy on the other side who has been developing these weapons, been using these weapons on his own people, and we say to our service men and women, look, suit up. We re going to send you in there. But we're not quite sure what we're likely to run into. We don't necessarily have the kind of gear we might like to have. We're not necessarily able to measure effectively biological exposures, even though we know this guy's been working on that. But we'd like you, in the name of the American Government and Uncle Sam, to get right on in there.

Here we are facing a situation with the North Koreans. In my mind ' the North Koreans may be as entirely capable of diabolical activities of any and all kinds as Saddam Hussein.

I can see why, if you were concerned about biological and chemical weapons activity on the part of the North Koreans, why there might a reluctance to even want to talk about the issue, so you didn't have a panic with our troops who are up on the front line who might be concerned that 3 years from now, if they're engaged in a fracas over there, they might end up like Col. Smith in a wheelchair.

And so, I would hope that we would never get to the point where the thinking is, let's get the mission done and then we'll treat the walking wounded, maybe, later on down the line or we'll figure out what that problem is at a later time.

I would hope that we would never get into a frame of mind where the objective in the immediate military sense puts the health and safety of our own forces in a secondary situation. Even though that's happened before in your lifetime and mine. It happened in Vietnam, in my opinion, and I think the evidence bears it out and the Vietnam veterans clearly feel that way. So you don't have to s stretch your imagination to imagine scenarios like that because we re living with the after-effects of that right now.

Mr. DORN. May 1, Mr. Chairman, associate myself with something Senator Bond said earlier?
The CHAIRMAN. Then I want to call on Senator Bennett, who has been waiting patiently to get in here.

Mr. DORN. Our effort here is, first and foremost, of course, to treat the sick veterans. That we are trying to do. Second, to find out what the underlying causes are and to deal with those.

The CHAIRMAN. But-

Mr. DORN. Senator Bond said something else. He said we have to prepare for the future.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, just one second. Just one second, Mr. Dorn. I think the problem, and the reason you got a murmur out of the veterans who are here, is that so many of them feel that their problem is in the chemical/biological exposure zone. And if the Department feels that that can't be the cause of their problem and therefore, the research efforts are really directed down other channels in any serious way, they feel like they're likely to continue to stay sick and get sicker and die in the meantime because you're going down divergent tracks.

Mr. DORN. If that is the impression I left, please give me an opportunity to clarify it.

One of the reasons we focused in my opening statement on chemical and biological weapons is, it was our understanding that that was this Committee's concern, how those weapons got into the hands of the Iraqis and whether they were used.

However, I want to make absolutely clear that we are exploring every possible or every plausible cause for these illnesses, including the possibility of exposure to some type of chemical agent, the possibility of exposure to various environmental pollutants, the possible long-term health effects of the Kuwaiti oil fires, infectious diseases such as leishmaniasis. There may be others. We are looking at a full range of possibilities.

One of the frustrations for some of the people who are vitally concerned with this is that there are strong proponents of each of those theories. We spend a lot of time explaining why we are trying to develop a program that looks at all of the possibilities rather than honing in solely on multiple chemical sensitivity or the Kuwaiti oil fires. We are examining a full range of possibilities here. Now, bow soon will the results come out? This is difficult. This is research. We are not confident bow soon the results will-

The CHAIRMAN. How much are we spending at the present time? Do you know offhand?

Mr. DORN. I'll have to get back to you on that because I cannot give you a total. Keep in mind that this research is being done under a lot of auspices. DoD is sponsoring some of it. VA is sponsoring some of it. Some of it is being done through Health and Human Services, their Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I will try to put together some numbers for you.

The CHAIRMAN. Senator Bennett.

Senator BENNETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I'll spare the editorial comment that I was about to make. Let me go back to the issue.

The Chairman asked a specific question to which he did not get an answer. I'm interested in the answer. The question was how many times did the alarms go off? The answer was, well, we don't really know, and so on.

All right. I used to give that kind of an answer to a boss that was not sympathetic to that kind of an answer and he would always say to me when I'd say, well, I can't give you an exact number. He'd say, how many would you be surprised if it were more than? Can you give us a ballpark figure? How many would you be surprised if it were more than or less than, and give us kind of a bracket?

Then as you investigate this, and you probably can't answer it here, and I would be surprised if you could, I would like an answer for the record, how many times was the gear replaced after the alarms went off. And to focus exactly on what I'm talking about, I'll direct you to page 65 of the report provided by the Chairman and the Ranking Member.

There, by coincidence, seems to be two occasions here where the alarms went off and the gear was replaced.

The first one, quoting a Mr. Fred Willoughby of Columbus, Georgia, who was with the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion. He has reported that on January 20, 1991, at about 3:00 to 4:00 a.m., he was hanging out outside his tent when he heard a long, loud explosion. Shortly thereafter, a siren sounded and he went inside the tent to get his gas mask. By the time he came out, people were yelling, MOPP 4, MOPP 4, not a drill. Immediately, his mouth, lips, and face became numb all over, a sensation he likened to novocaine at the dentist's office. He was in the bunker for about an hour or an hour and a half. When he came out of the bunker, he and others in his unit were told by the officers and chiefs that what they had heard was just a sonic boom. The next day, the unit was told not to talk about it.

Here's the operative sentence-but the unit's MOPP gear was collected and replaced the next morning. I want to know how many times that happened, where an alarm went off and subsequently to the alarm going off, someone had the MOPP gear collected and replaced.

Go down to the next one just below it. Roy Morrow of Phenix City, Alabama, assigned to the Air Detachment, King Abdul Aziz Stadium.

On January 20, 1991, be beard two explosions between 3:00 and 3:30 a.m. He was awakened, went to the bunker. The unit went to MOPP 2 level for 25 to 30 minutes. The all-clear was then given. When he exited the bunker, Mr. Morrow noticed the Marines running and screaming, MOPP level 4. The siren sounded again. He began to feel a burning sensation on his arms, legs, the back of his neck, his ears, and his face, his lips felt numb. His unit went to full MOPP level 4. Right before he went to the bunker the second time, Mr. Morrow saw a flash in the commercial port of Al-Jubayl. He had a radio in the bunker, so on and so forth.

When they began to discuss it, down in the next paragraph, he's talking with the head of the decontamination team in his unit. And when they began to discuss it, according to Mr. Morrow, the unit was told that the two explosions were a sonic boom and they were ordered not to talk about it any more. The next day, all of their chemical gear was collected and replaced with new equipment.

I am sure in the logs of those units, the sounding of the alarms, the going to MOPP 4 level, and the collecting and replacing of the equipment is recorded. If there's one thing our military does well, it is multiply paper and record things that went on, and people keep logs.

I would like to know how many times the alarms went off, and after the alarms going off, regardless of the explanation as to why, someone felt it necessary to collect and replace all of the MOPP equipment, because, certainly on its face, it would appear that somebody on the scene at the time was convinced that the gear was contaminated or would not have had it replaced.

Finally, just as another footnote, as I browsed through this-

The CHAIRMAN. I'm wondering, do you have a response?

[No response provided.]

Senator BENNETT. Do you have a response on that? I'm assuming that you don't have that statistic. But if you do, I'd be glad to-

The CHAIRMAN. There ought to be somebody here that knows. There are a lot of people here that are experts in this area. Who can get the closest to an answer?

Dr. PROCIV. I guess the difficulty of coming up with a number, and we will try. We will try to provide one for the record. The only time that a record is made of an alarm is if it's a verified alarm. An NBC 1 report is prepared and that's sent upstairs.

The CHAIRMAN. Now what is a verified alarm?

Dr. PROCIV. An alarm goes off and the M256 kit is used to verify it.

The CHAIRMAN. So when the alarm goes off, if there isn't that kind of a verification, you wouldn't count it, anyway.

Dr. PROCIV. No.

The CHAIRMAN. Would you then kind of switch back to the other point, that maybe it was a faulty alarm or-

Dr. PROCIV. I'm trying to be open-minded here.

We probably wouldn't bear about it, but it may be that the company would keep records, that Central Command would keep records. And so, we will try to get the number.

Senator BENNETT. I find it inconceivable that the alarm would go off and the unit would be on alert, and in their MOPP gear for hours, and then the gear would be collected and disposed of and there would be no record of the incident on the ground that it wasn't verified. That's incredible to me.

Dr. PROCIV. Let me try to explain that, also. Typically, the gear is not changed after an alarm.

Senator BENNETT. I understand that.

Dr. PROCIV. Typically, the gear is changed after a certain number of days of wear life. For instance, the British suit has a 5-day wear life. On the fifth day, everybody changes out of the suit and gets a new one. I'd have to look into each of these cases and see why those change-outs were made. I'm not sure I understand that, other than by coincidence, it may have hit that fifth day.

Senator BENNETT. I can understand that it would be by coincidence. But the Chairman asked the question, how many times did the alarm go off, because the testimony here has said that every single time that the alarm went off, it was because of some nonchemical reason. It was a false alarm. It was in reaction to diesel fuel in the air. It was testing. In every single instance, the testimony is the alarm was not an alarm of actual chemical presence. His question was, how many times did we have those nonchemical stimuli creating an alarm going off? I think that’s an answer we ought to get an approximation for.

The second question that I'm asking is, how many times was there a replacement of the gear following the alarm going off? If you say it only happened twice and in both cases, the 5 days were up, I'll accept that. But I want to know how many times it actually happened, whether or not we can put it down to coincidence of the 5 days being up, or if somebody on the ground came to the conclusion that there was in fact contamination there and the gear had to be replaced as a safety measure for his troops. I can see a conscientious commander making that decision and having a record of it somewhere. I want to know if, indeed, that happened.

Finally, just as I was browsing through here, I'd point out to you on page 77, there is another case of an M256 giving a positive reading. William Brady, Battalion Logistics NCO with the 217th Maintenance Battalion.

Deafening sound, a flash of light, everything shook. That does not sound like a sonic boom to me. He remembered the chemical litmus paper turning red and a positive reading from an M256 kit. His nose began to run. He smelled and tasted sulfur and he began coughing up blood a couple of days after the attack.

Once again, you may have an explanation for the M256 working, but I come back to the earlier statement that there is never a verified case.

We do have a pattern here of alarms going off and now individual reports of even the M256 being activated I don't think there's a lot of credibility, unless you've got an answer for every one of these, for the statement that there was no presence of these things. To a layman, it just seems overwhelming that there's got to be a presumption of presence if these kinds of things kept happening.

Dr. PROCIV. Our conclusions are also base on not just the alarms. It's also the absence of the types of symptoms that we expect to see from nerve agents. We talked to our allies. We have not seen the symptoms there.

Typically, an attack will cause a lot of people to get exposed. So I will take these questions for the record, however, sir, and I will provide you the answers to those.

Senator BENNETT. Let me pursue what you just said because it fits with the line that I was on earlier.

You say, typically, we can expect. Let's hold the possibility that these particular agents were not typical. Let's hold the possibility that, indeed, something happened out there that doesn't meet the typical norm. Back to my earlier question to the Secretary-isn't there a possibility that the confirmation pattern is flawed?

You say, we can't get confirmation of it. Maybe we're dealing with something new here that we weren't previously thinking about that can produce a different kind of reaction than we were expecting.

With that thought in mind, go back and review everything we've talked about. Our confirmation pattern doesn't confirm.

I'm willing to accept that. I don't think you're sitting here lying to The on that issue. I'll accept that you've done the confirmation and the confirmation doesn't confirm. But how do I explain all of the people with Gulf War Syndrome. Just because it doesn't fit the typical pattern does not mean it didn't happen. Start thinking in those terms and maybe this whole thing will be a little different.

I thank the Chair.

The CHAIRMAN. I think, Senator Bennett, that that's an enormously constructive point you've just made.

We know that Saddam Hussein was experimenting with mixing up these cocktails, these so-called chemical cocktails and maybe mixing biologicals in with the chemical cocktails. We don't know what he was finally doing. We just know at the end of the war, even though we bombed the daylights out of every storage place we knew about, and I think in the process threw a lot of this stuff up in the air, which then blew down over our troops, that even after all the bombing, the massive bombing, he still had a huge stockpile of this stuff. That's what the U.N. inspectors found. And we're still destroying it, still getting rid of it. It's not easy to get rid of.

One of the great ironies is that we helped put it together because we sent him the materials in the beginning to get him going, with these licenses that were approved by our own Government to send the biological specimens and so forth.

But I think Senator Bennett is onto something. I think we may in fact be dealing with something here where, when he was threatening us with these kinds of doomsday weapons and other things, that he may have been experimenting with weapons that were different and outside the norm, and at we were not necessarily read to deal with that.

I think, quite frankly, it's a stunning statement. I know you may not think about it that way, when you say that when these alarms were going off all the time, it's probably because the alarms were faulty or that they were registering the wrong things.

To the people out in the real world that go to work everyday and pay the bills for the defense establishment and everything else, that will have them marching on Washington, if they think that what we were doing is buying alarm systems to protect their sons and daughters that basically weren't any good.

And so, yes, they kept going off all the time, but they were going off for the wrong reasons,

That's like asking people to believe something that's just so unbelievable, that to say it, makes a person sound like a fool, I think to a citizen.

Senator BENNETT. Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes.

Senator BENNETT. Could I comment on that because you've triggered a thought here that I'd like to share with the Department of Defense.

We're in a Catch-22. If we say, on the one hand, the alarms going off in every instance was due to malfunction or misreading or diesel oil, or whatever, and then we turn around and say, on the other hand, we have absolutely no confirmation from anywhere that these agents were present.

It's the second conclusion that's driving the first. If you say, just one alarm functioned properly, and what are the statistical chances that that's true, just one of these M256 readings was accurate, then we do have confirmation.

You've got yourself into a logic box here. If you say they all failed, the M256 all came from people who didn't understand what they were doing. We've checked everyone of them. You then can validate, no, there's no confirmation.

But the overwhelming inference on the part, again, of somebody looking at it from the outside who's not involved, is that it is the second conclusion that is driving the first and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy once you get there.

You can't prove a negative, but just think about it for just a minute logically and use the phrase, fuzzy logic, that allows you to go with probabilities, even if you can't pin it down. Is it really logical to assume that every single one of those events was faulty!

Mr. DORN. Senator, let me perhaps Dr. Prociv can address another dilemma here which has to do with the way one designs the systems and the way one sets them so that one has the maximum possible warning.

It is a system which, unfortunately, is likely to yield some false alarms. But perhaps we can discuss that technology because it does raise an interesting question about how much advanced warning we want in these circumstances and it may guide the way in which this technology is refined in the future.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, before we get off into a long, technical discourse that eats up more time, I want to stay on the point that he's just raised. If you can invent a better system, I'll all for it. Go and do it. If you want the money, I'll vote for the money to do it.

I'm concerned about a lot of sick people right now because the last system didn't work right and we're having a very hard time, I still think, getting an honest understanding, of what happened.

I think Senator Bennett is exactly right, that it's the second conclusion that in a sense is driving the first conclusion, that backs you into the notion that you've come in here with a truly unbelievable assertion that every single one of these alarms going off was faulty and didn't mean anything.

I think that that's clearly not the case and I would hope at the end of the day, not just today, but at the end of this you wouldn't force yourself into believing something that is patently unbelievable.

But there's a more serious and sinister part of it. And that is that that kind of logic also drives the effort to get to the bottom of the medical problems because if you're working off the premise that it can't be chemical exposure or biological weapons exposure, then you don't aim the bulk of your medical research effort with real urgency into that area of exposure.

You look at other things. You can spend a long time looking at everything else that it might be. Meanwhile, you've got very sick people that in many instances, are getting sicker. In other words, their sickness isn't standing still. Their sickness in many cases is progressive.

The thing that alarms me the most right now is that by, in a sense, ruling out the notion that it could be chemical and biological exposure causing a lot of this difficulty, maybe in a mixture with the pretreatment pills and so forth, we are losing very valuable time and causing perhaps an immense amount of grief.

If you've got a biological issue working in all of this, you may have even a bigger threat on your bands than we're accustomed to even thinking about. And so, that kind of logic or illogic, in this case, I think is what people can't accept who look at this.

And to your question, how many times did the alarms go off, I can assert to you right now, based on lust the first person accounts that we have had, with discussions with people who have come forward, for whom we have names, places, times, and so forth, that there would be thousands of events of alarms going off. Would any of you dispute that? You would not dispute that.

Dr. PROCIV. We have no data.

Senator BENNETT. That goes back to my question-what would you be surprised if it were fewer than? Does 1,000 strike you as much too high? You say you have no data, but you obviously-

Dr. PROCIV. I think that I would agree to per-alarm, perhaps 2 to 3 a day. I could see that happening.

The CHAIRMAN. How many alarms were out there?

Dr. PROCIV. We had 14,000 alarms out there.

The CHAIRMAN. So 14,000 alarms going off 3 times a day.

Dr. PROCIV. Big number.

The CHAIRMAN. That's a pretty big number.

Senator BENNETT. Yes. Let me pursue another aspect of the thought that I'm laying down here, that just because it doesn't fit the norm doesn't mean that it didn't happen.

As I understood, Mr. Secretary, your comments were' that you found no evidence of the presence of these weapons, let alone the trace of the gases or agents, but no evidence of the presence of these weapons in the theater. Is that correct?

Mr. DORN. That is correct.

Senator BENNETT. OK I believe, from the first-person reports contained in this document, that most of the instances reported were not in the theater. They were behind the lines back in the maintenance area, subject to SCUD attacks that were later dismissed as sonic booms and not, in fact, SCUD attacks in some cases, but not necessarily in the theater where the tank battle and those other things took place. Is that correct?

Mr. DORN. Those portions of southern Iraq and Kuwait that constituted the battlefield. So you are correct in the way we've defined the Kuwait theater of operations. However, I believe that statement is intended to cover, and I will verify it, but I believe that is intended to cover everything that we found on the battlefields, short of a certain parallel into Iraq.

Now I will confirm that.

Senator BENNETT. You see where I'm going.

Mr. DORN. It obviously would be very important-

Senator BENNETT. Yes.

Mr. DORN. -If this were cleverly worded to obscure that point. It is my sincere hope that it has not obscured that important point.

The CHAIRMAN. We have more than a hope, though.

Senator BENNETT. I don't accuse anybody of cleverly wording it to obscure it. But I have had enough dealings with some military minds, I won't say all, by any means, to suggest that it would never occur to them to go beyond the battlefield as to what the theater would be.

We are dealing now, if we accept these first-person witnesses at face value, with people who are behind the lines, who are subjected to SCUD attacks launched from areas we know not where. That is prima facie obvious because if we knew where the SCUD's were, we would have destroyed them. We were out looking for them. That was the number-one priority of the war, as far as our relationship with the Israelis was concerned.

These are attacks being launched from some area that we may very well have never reconnoitered that took place in an area outside of the theater. So that the information that you gave us here, very conceivably, could be exactly correct and still have missed the point.

Mr. DORN. I will double check the information. However, as you know, a number of these SCUD's landed in populated areas or were destroyed over populated areas. We know that when they were destroyed, they sometimes spewed forth rocket fuel and lots of other debris. I have seen no information suggesting that the debris contained evidence of a chemical or a biological agent.

I will double check that information for you, sir.

Senator BENNETT. I think it would be a useful exercise.

The other comment I would make-

Mr. DORN. Dr. Kriese has a comment on that.

Dr. KRIESE. May I comment, sir?

Senator BENNETT. Surely.

Dr. KRIESE. My understanding is that, after every SCUD attack, we checked for CW and none was found. That was of great concern to our forces.

I think you brought up a very important point as you talk about delivery of agents. You referred to an incident on January 19, or perhaps January 20, this is event 3 on page 64.

This area, we believe, was outside the range of any Iraqi delivery systems, except for SCUD's. And on January 20, there were four SCUD's that landed near Al-Jubayl, two of them about 35 miles away and two about 58 miles away.

I think as we discuss chemical agents, and I don't want to give an, appearance that I'm trying to rule something out or in circular logic, but, in my mind, one of the issues is the question of how those agents were inplaced, how they got there.

As we look at the installations that were deep behind the lines, like Al-Jubayl, SCUD is the only way to get there. I'm not saying that they're not there because I don't know how else to explain them. But I think delivery is a very important issue that we've looked at as we've tried to make an assessment of the use of CW and BW weapons.

We've also asked ourselves questions about if there are low levels of CW or BW, why do we never find high levels? Distribution of material is a very difficult problem. Usually, you start from a small canister and release it. Close to the canister, you have high levels of CW or BW agents. Further away, you find low levels. So this is, again, a puzzle to us. And I don't want to say that I'm ruling anything out.

Senator BENNETT. Yes.

Dr. KRIESE. But as we try to understand how the Iraqis may have used CW or BW agents, these are things that we try to address.

Senator BENNETT. And I think it's appropriate that you try to address them. I think that that's a legitimate question.

I go back to my earlier comment that maybe we're dealing with something here that does not fit our expectations because we're dealing with an individual who has pursued this weaponry far beyond the levels that we have, I think, in our own arsenal. We've decided to pull back from this a long time ago and he has decided to go forward.

Dr. KRIESE. Yes, sir, and I would add that, certainly, one of the things that the intelligence community worries about a lot is the question of technological surprise. So, across the board, we look at unexpected developments in technologies that may be a threat to U.S. forces or the forces of our allies.

This is something that we've looked for and, again, I can't say that it's not there because we haven't seen it, but we certainly pursue those leads whenever we have them.
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Re: United States Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and Their Impact

Postby admin » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:40 pm

Part 3 of 3

Senator BENNETT. I have to leave. I just want to conclude with an experience totally unrelated in specifics, but I think quite instructive in its overall message that I had in my formative years as a very young man.

It had nothing to do with war, fortunately. But we were trying to sell tickets to a concert. The public relations firm hired to help us to do this sent their expert into the area where I was operating. He was appalled to find out that I was doing all kinds of things he didn't want me to do.

This happened in the British Isles.

He called his superior in London and he reported to his superior all of the things that I was doing that were contrary to the wishes of this internationally known PR firm. The conversation is still burned in my mind and the lesson that I learned is the one that I want to share with you.

He said, "Yes, dear, I told him that." His superior was a woman, so he could use that terminology in the days before political correctness.

He said, "Yes, dear, we covered that. Yes, dear, we have handled that. Yes, we have done that. That's right. Yes, we've covered all those bases. Everything is fine. There's just one problem-no tickets have been sold."

OK we can get all of the explanations. We can get all of the examination. There's just one problem-we have a batch of people for whom we cannot give any explanations in terms of their medical circumstance. Maybe the old pattern be was describing in that circumstance and as you are describing in here, has got to be abandoned and we've got to do something different.

That's what I was trying to do when I was trying to sell tickets to the concert and offending people because I was doing things differently than they thought they should be done by the classic pattern.

My only defense for my actions was but no tickets are being sold doing it your way. My only comment here is no answers are being found as to where this body of people with serious medical problems came from. And that's what keeps driving me and I know keeps driving the Chairman and will keep driving this issue until we either fill the hall, as I can say proudly we did on the occasion of the concert, by solving the problem, or come up with an explanation that is so scientifically iron-clad, that everybody can buy it.

Saying that the explosions were all sonic booms and the alarms went off, all in malfunction or testing, and that all of the illness comes from some other source is simply not going to cut it in the reality of what we've got here, what we have to deal with. There is the reality of the people who have these problems and that reality is not going to go away.

Mr. DORN. Senator Bennett, I want to emphasize again that we are considering all the plausible possibilities, including the possibility of exposure to some type of chemical or biological agent.

Senator BENNETT. I'm delighted to have you say that last sentence because I had not heard it before now and I may have missed it. But I'm glad to hear it before I have to leave and I congratulate you for making that clear commitment, to consider this as a real possibility, in spite of the fact that there are no confirmations, in spite of the fact, et cetera.

That, I think, is a major commitment on behalf of the Defense Department.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Senator Bennett.

I think logic, which is what Senator Bennett is trying to apply here, and properly so, is maybe the quickest way to an answer because of the problems that we've been discussing this morning.

I want to read into the record the chemical warfare agents which survived the Allied bombing-these are the chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein had squirrelled away and then they were picked up to be destroyed after the war by the inspectors that went in.

Now listen to this. This is just what we got after all the bombing. We went in and, as a priority target, tried to knock out a lot of these weapons storage places and weapons production places. So, presumably, we got rid of most of it in the bombing runs. But this was what was left after all the bombing.

Now just think about this and think about it logically-13,000 155-millimeter shells loaded with mustard gas; 6,200 rockets loaded with nerve agent; 800 nerve agent aerial bombs; 28 SCUD warheads loaded with Sarin; 75 tons of nerve agent Sarin; 60 to 70 tons of the nerve agent Tabun; and 250 tons of mustard gas and stocks of thiodiglycol, a precursor chemical for mustard gas.

Again, just think about this, we went in with these saturation bombing raids. We tried to hit their weapons production facilities and knock them out. Presumably, we did knock a lot of them out. A lot of what they had to start with presumably went up in smoke and, unfortunately, I think a lot of it drifted down over our people and that's part of why these alarms were going off.

According to the testimony here, if there were 14,000 going off 3 times a day, there's an awful lot of something going on . But this is what was left after the war that we managed to find.

Knowing Saddam Hussein, he may have more than this squirrelled away some other place we haven't even found. But leaving that aside, this is a tremendous stockpile of these kinds of weapons to have at the end of the war.

Now you have to say to yourself, and especially when we're dealing with sick veterans and so forth, who feel that they were exposed to these items, is it conceivable that Saddam Hussein, with all of this stockpile-I mean, he didn't have these things by accident, he built these with a very deliberate design to have all of these things-is it conceivable that in the course of the war, he or his field commanders, and I understand some of his front-line field commanders had authority to do certain things in the war, depending upon how the war went. Is it conceivable that not a single one of these shells or weapons was ever fired? Is that conceivable? Maybe it's conceivable. I think it's very, very unlikely. That leaves apart the question of blowing these things up with our own bombing raids and dispersing it in that fashion. And the fact that he had a history of doing it in the past.

But what s even more powerful, I think, when you apply the logic, if you take the symptoms, the health symptoms that would come, and this runs counter to something that was said earlier by one of the witnesses, we spent a lot of time overlaying symptoms to exposure to what kind of items could create these kinds of symptoms and what kinds of biological items and chemical weapons do we know that he had and was developing that could create, if a service person was exposed to them, a pattern of medical difficulty that would fit that kind of exposure.

We find a very high correlation between the kinds of sickness and medical symptoms and exposure to chemical and/or biological weapons. In fact, we can't find anything else that correlates highly. This is the one thing that fits.

And so, after a while, the pattern is so strong, that you look at it and you say, why is it that everybody else that's looking at this, including a lot of outside medical people who are trying to deal with sick veterans, can see these patterns and the Defense Department has this mental attitude that says, it couldn't be in this area and therefore, we don't really believe that's the problem because we can't verify it, so we're assuming the problem is somewhere outside those parameters.

Now, granted, you've just said in response to Senator Bennett at the end of a long morning that you're looking at the chemical and biological issues as well. But your whole statement is built around a central supposition and belief that there was no chemical and biological problem here.

Mr. DORN. No, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. It is not?

Mr. DORN. You asked what I thought was the Committee's interest in the Export Administration Act and the possibly related question of whether or not Saddam Hussein used materials provided under the old Export Administration Act against us. And my statement was that we find no evidence that the weapons were used.

I've said several times during this hearing that we are considering a wide range, all the possible explanations, including the possibility of some type of exposure to chemical agents. There are two issues here. One is what our adversary may have used. The other question is what may have been available or what may have been present in the theater for other reasons.

The CHAIRMAN. Isn't there a third category? Isn't there a potential, unintentional way in which it could be used if we went in and bombed these facilities and these got up into the air-

Mr. DORN. That has been looked at.

The CHAIRMAN. -At different levels of air currents and it came down over our troops. That would be a way in which he would not have made an offensive strike. We would clearly not have intended for that to happen. But isn't that another possibility?

Mr. DORN. That is clearly a possibility. May we speak briefly to that?

The CHAIRMAN. Yes, please. We have an extensive aspect of that in our report, as I'm sure you know. Go ahead.

Dr. KRIESE . I think one of the questions that comes up when you look at this as a potential cause for the illnesses is the question of where are the very sick people?

The high concentrations that would have resulted locally from attacking facilities, I think possibly could have caused very serious injuries near the places that were bombed.

The CHAIRMAN. You're talking now about the Iraqis themselves?

Dr. KRIESE. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you trust their data?

Dr. KRIESE. We saw no evidence as we were reviewing all the imagery that we had available for bomb damage assessment of any local fatalities that we could attribute to release of chemicals or biological agents.

As we attacked facilities, sir, we went back and very carefully evaluated the amount of damage that we achieved with our attacks and have extensive imagery from gun cameras and other resources that we had in the area and we found no evidence of the deaths that you might anticipate from local releases of large amounts of material.

As the U.N. has inspected some of the areas that we bombed after the war and, again, this does not provide data on what was there at the time we bombed, but certainly later, some of the facilities turned out to be empty. The Iraqis dispersed a lot of their munitions. That's why it was recovered after the war. They were not necessarily in the places that we attacked.

As part of our planning, we did studies of impact of releases. We've gone back afterwards taking weather data from the Air Force and other meteorological conditions and have made estimates about how far plumes from released material might have impacted people. For the southern most facilities that we attacked, I believe that the plume extends out, at most, 10 or 12 kilometers for incapacitating roughly 5 percent of unprotected people.

And again-

The CHAIRMAN. See, the problem with that is when you say incapacitating unprotected people, first of all, we're talking about something that we don't have a lot of good research on, obviously.

But if you're getting these low-level exposures-let's say you’re an American service person out there and you’re getting these repeated low-level exposures and the alarms keep going off, going off all the time. And we're saying, well, that's just because they're faulty alarms.

It’s even an embarrassing assertion because I think it's so incredible and unbelievable. But this stuff is wafting down through there and that's why the alarms are going off, and people are getting exposed to it.

Now, I don't know that we know enough today as to what kinds of exposure levels at lower levels but on a chronic basis and over a period of time, are going to mate somebody sick, make you sick, make your son sick. Maybe some person in the unit is going to get sicker a lot faster and more seriously than the next person in the unit who either has a different kind of a system or the exposure, for one reason or another, isn't quite as severe for that person.

But, again I find this remarkable blind spot that's right in the center of the screen here where you've got all of the surrounding information, most significantly being all the sick veterans who keep coming forward.

I think until somebody-and maybe you've done this, I hope so and if you haven't, we're going to help you do it. You need to talk to some of the sick spouses, whose hair is falling out, who can't sleep, whose reproductive cycle is not working properly. They're showing a lot of the same physical symptoms at their husbands are showing, who were the veterans, although we have women veterans, too, who have these problems.

I don't know where the breakdown is coming from because we have this enlarging body of sick people out there who something happened to. They weren’t sick before they went to the Gulf. Something happened to them there and now they're back and now they’re sick. Can anybody tell me what happened to them? You're convinced, by and large, at least that's the testimony and that's the official Defense Department line, that it was not exposure to chemical and biological weapons.

I think part of it is due to that and we're putting a much stronger case on the table than you are. But if it isn't that, after all this period of time, and as important as this issue is, what is causing it?

Dr. KRIESE. Sir, if I can just comment for a minute?

I don't think the Defense Department is saying that it was not, the Gulf War Syndrome was not due to CW and BW.

The CHAIRMAN. Chemical Warfare and Biological Warfare agents.

Dr. KRIESE. Yes, sir. I think the Defense Department is not taking that stance.

The CHAIRMAN. So you're not saying that that's not the cause.

Dr. KRIESE. That's right.

The CHAIRMAN. That could be the cause.

Dr. KRIESE. Yes, sir. I think Dr. Dorn said that very, I hope, clearly earlier.

I think he came to people for advice on what might be causes as he ran down the list of the possibilities. He asked the Defense Intelligence Agency for our assessment of use of CW and BW.

As I heard him say, thank you very much, it's still on my list.

The CHAIRMAN. What do you think is causing it? What's causing all these veterans and their families to get sick? What’s your best judgment?

Dr. KRIESE. Speaking totally as a nonexpert, I think that-

The CHAIRMAN. I hope you're an expert because the Defense Department shouldn't bring you up here if you're not something of an expert.

Mr. DORN. But not in health.

Dr. KRIESE. Sir, I'm not an expert on the whole range of medical issues that might be involved in this question.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, take us as far as your expertise can take us, then.

Dr. KRIESE. I think we're learning about dangers of a whole range of chemicals that exist in our environment. I think there's a lot that we have to learn.

The CHAIRMAN. You think this is part of the problem here? Everything you've seen, your own wisdom, logic, and common sense. Do you think that chemical and biological exposure may in fact be part of what's making these veterans sick?

Dr. KRIESE. I think there were a lot of chemicals that were in the atmosphere in the Gulf from a range of sources, whether oil fires, chemical weapons. You can make a list of things that I think that there's a real possibility that low-level chemicals, or a combination of low-level chemicals may be one of the contributors to this disease.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you believe that, too, Dr. Prociv?

Dr. PROCIV. I wouldn't discount it. Again, I'm not a medical type. My biggest dilemma is I don't understand how the chemicals would get there in sufficient quantity. If I understood that, I would believe that.

The CHAIRMAN. What do you believe, Mr. Dorn?

Mr. DORN. Senator, as I said, we're exploring a large range of possibilities, including the one that we've discussed extensively here today.

However, let me go back to something that I said in my statement. There are a large number of theories out there, each with a strong proponent, for multiple chemical sensitivity, for parasitic infections, for chemical agents, for other possible causes. We are trying to explore all the possibilities. I think it would be a mistake for us to focus on one possibility to the exclusion of all others.

I could get a great headline here if I were to point to a single cause. But that would be a disservice to this Committee and it certainly would be a disservice to the veterans to try to speculate about matters that we are still trying to study.

We do not understand it.

Senator, I have had the experience of being shuffled from physician to physician, trying to find the answer to a simple question. So I empathize with the frustration being experience by Col. Smith and other veterans.

I was not in the Persian Gulf, but I think many of us in this room have gone through that type of frustration. And as one goes from specialist to specialist, not getting answers, the fear and the frustration build. There were many, many times when I would have loved for someone to say, aha, I know exactly what the problem is.

I will not try to offer veterans speculation when I think we need to-

The CHAIRMAN. They don't want speculation. I'm with you up to that point.

Mr. DORN. -Support clear research.

The CHAIRMAN. Now I think-respectfully, that veers off into something that doesn't really have a lot of relevance here.

The question is what can we offer them? Let me give you some specifics.

No. 1, to ones that are sick and can't work, they ought to have 100 percent disability. That you can offer them. That you can fight for and that you should get and we shouldn't wait another day to do it.

No. 2, if you've got family members that are sick, showing the same syndrome, they ought, to get care from the Government. The Defense Department ought to be fighting to get the money for it. If you have to not build another battleship or something else in order to get the money to take care of the sick family members, you ought to stand up and say it. And so should the Secretary of Defense, because the veterans are a lot more important than the equipment.

[Applause.]

I think there should be an epidemiological study of every single Gulf War veteran to find out what's going on out there and if some are being affected now, there might be some that are going to be affected 3 or 4 years from now. We could learn something and do something about helping them at the present time.

I'm also concerned that there are a lot of other things that we haven't done here that we could have done with respect to getting to the bottom of these pretreatment items. I think we've got to streamline the appeals process within the Veterans' Administration. There are a whole host of things. I've spelled them out.

It would be very helpful that in the recommendations area, which is not designed to go to a single-cause issue, to go to the question of what do we do now to deal with the damaged? It's very specific and it's very clear and I think it's sound. I think it's good national policy and I think the Defense Department today, the best thing it could do for itself as it's trying to figure out what happened is to go on an all points effort to deal with the aftermath of this problem and see to it that these veterans and their families are getting the full scope of care immediately that they need and not wait to find out exactly what happened in each and every instance but to get that job done.

I'll tell you very bluntly, that is not happening. And you can say this is way up on the priority list of the Secretary of Defense. But I've listened to the Secretary of Defense. I've listened to him on the radio. I've watched him on television. I've been waiting for him to talk about this problem. He can get a mike any time he wants it. He can step outside his office door and say, get the networks in here. I've got something to say on the Gulf War Syndrome issue. And you know what? They'll be there. They'll be happy to come. He can talk about this and he can deliver a message that's so powerful and so clear that shows where the priority is in treating these sick veterans and their families, that it's unmistakable.

The silence is deafening. That hasn't happened. And there's no excuse for it. I wouldn't have a Secretary of Defense that didn't do that, quite frankly, if I were running the show. It's not enough to do all the other things.

I'm making my statement, Mr. Dorn. You can make yours in a minute. I know you've got to defend the Department. That's your job. It doesn't happen to be my job. That's why we've got a balance of power difference in this Government of ours.

I think he's got an obligation to speak out and give some leadership on this issue. I think he's got to address Col. Smith's problem and these other veterans who are here in this room and there are thousands more that aren't here. And especially these spouses and these sick kids.

I've seen the sick kids. You ought to go see some of them. You ought to go talk with them. It will change your thinking about this problem, I guarantee it. It will make you a lot more passionate about it and a lot more determined to get to the bottom of it in terms of at least treatment for people, because we're not treating people today. Where does the spouse and the child go today? Can they go to the VA hospital? No, the VA hospital isn't geared to take them. It doesn't want them.

Mr. DORN. Senator, the law can be changed if you introduce the appropriate legislation.

The CHAIRMAN. That's exactly right. The law can be changed and there are a lot of ways that can change it.

It would certainly help if the Secretary of Defense, representing a continuum of decisionmakers, who organized this whole effort and sent everybody off to this war, would step up to the plate and say , look, we've got a problem that's a fall-out of this war. We don't fully understand it. Maybe we didn't do some things right. Maybe we had the wrong sensors. Maybe we didn't anticipate the problem. Maybe when we get to the bottom, somebody's reputation is going to get nailed . Maybe it turns out somebody somewhere along the line said, we don't have to worry about this problem. It turns out we did have to worry about the problem.

I've seen that happen before, too, and I'm sure you have.

We give you a very good-sized budget. I had to fight to get $5 million in the appropriation to do some medical research, which I did last fall on the Senate floor. It's been hard to get the money even spent, I might say, to hire the people to go out and do the work. That's another whole story. We won't get into that here today.

But it would be very refreshing if the Defense Secretary said, we’ve got a very tight budget and I know it's hard to pay for the medical care here, but we're going to set aside a half-billion dollars out of the Defense Department. That's like pocket change in terms of the totals, but it's significant pocket change to say, I want to make sure that those problems are taken care of. And I don't want any bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo that the Veterans' Affairs Department doesn't have the money that it needs or somebody else doesn't have the money that it needs.

This is a Defense Department operation. These people went to fight because we asked them to go. We're responsible for what happens to them at the end of the day. They're sick and this is an anomaly and we want to get to the bottom of it. And while we're trying to do that, we want them treated. We'll pay the bill.

You know something? The people of the country would like to hear that because that’s an acceptance of responsibility. That isn't to say that somebody did anything deliberately or anything of that sort. It's an acceptance of the responsibility after the fact of the human need that's there. That would be a wonderful gesture and it's what ought to be done.

Now Ill bet you that nobody's even thought about that at the Defense Department. Or if they have, they sure kept it a secret.

Mr. DORN. Mr. Chairman, I began my testimony by reading a letter to all Persian Gulf veterans from Chairman Shalikashvili and jointly signed by the Secretary of Defense. I will be pleased to read it again into the record.

I should point out, however, that that letter, which promises treatment, which encourages people to come forward, which tells people that there are no classification restrictions against what they may wish to say about their experiences, is the last of about a dozen messages that various people in the Defense Department have sent out within the past 8 to 10 months.

Now it is true that when we send out a message to veterans which says, we're treating you, we do not get quite the same amount of attention as we can get with a more sensational story.

However, we can discuss the resources being dedicated to this effort. I can assure you that a soldier who comes forward, or a family member who comes forward to a military medical facility will receive care. This information is often missed because it seems to be a positive reassurance which some people are not interested in hearing.

Let me say it again loudly. If a soldier comes to a military treatment facility, he or she will be treated. If that soldier brings a member of his family in, he or she will be treated. If there is anyone in this audience who feels that has not happened, I will take the names, I will make the calls, and it will happen.

The CHAIRMAN. Let's have order in the room.

You have some people here that feel that way who are standing. They feel that they have been given the brush-off in that area. So we'll see to it that you have their names.

Let me ask you this. When was this letter put out?

Mr. DORN. It's dated today.

The CHAIRMAN. So, in other words, the letter was put out today.

Mr. DORN. That is the last, as I said, of about a dozen messages coming out of DoD on this matter.

The CHAIRMAN. But this is the one you're citing because this is the one that's obviously directed to the veterans with the kind of focus that you've just described.

But again let's be honest with each other. There's no coincidence, is there, in timing, that the fact this letter is coming out today and we're having this hearing today.

Mr. DORN. Yes, Senator, it absolutely is a coincidence because that letter has been working its way through the system for some time.

I should mention that a week or so ago, a message came out from the Assistant Secretary of Health focusing on this. I will be glad

to provide you the list of a couple of dozen things that have gone out-either briefings or memoranda or messages-since the end of the Persian Gulf conflict.

I should also point out something else, Senator, because there is a great deal of discussion about delay and attention.

I am grateful that sometime late last spring or last summer, several Members of Congress, including Senator Shelby and Mr. Montgomery, began approaching the Defense Department, saying, "Hey, I keep getting groups of veterans from my constituency coming forward and they think they have a problem." Most of these veterans are in the reserves or National Guard units.

It is not fair to say that this is a problem that everyone has been aware of since the end of the Persian Gulf War and that we are only beginning to attend to. It is fair to say that it is a problem that has become apparent over time, it did not crystallize either in the Congress or in the Defense Department until less than a year ago.

We have, I believe, tried to attend to it since then. I think we can be faulted in any number of ways. You may be correct that, in spite of this letter and in spite of dozens of other attempts to communicate, we have not done as good a job of getting the word out as we should have.

I think you probably are also right that we had doctors in our military facilities and in VA facilities who, not having identified a pattern or syndrome, were not as sensitive to the matter as they might have been. There were also, as you know, up until just a few months ago, restrictions on treatment.

The CHAIRMAN. I don't want to stop you. If you'll permit me to interrupt just for a minute because I want to hear your full statement.

We have a vote that's on. The lights back there are on and I've got about 8 minutes to get to the floor. I want to make the vote. It's a cloture vote and my vote may decide the issue. I hesitate to interrupt this to do that.

I want to recess the Committee for that purpose and then I'll come back and I'll let you finish.

As nearly as I know, there has been no letter like this before today signed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Secretary of Defense sent to all Gulf War veterans. Now, am I right in believing that?

Mr. DORN. That is correct.

The CHAIRMAN. Isn't this the first letter like this?

Mr. DORN. I think the previous correspondence has gone to people in the military chain of command for treatment instructions and to commanders.

The CHAIRMAN. OK Let me let you check that while I'm gone.

Let me also ask you to do something else. You offered to talk to the veterans here who feel that they're not getting the response to their medical problems. That's not an unlikely situation. There are a lot of veterans who feel that way.

Mr. DORN. Absolutely.

The CHAIRMAN. You had some stand up over here. You've had three in uniform stand up over here. While I'm gone, I would appreciate it because I'm going to come back and resume the hearing, if you could chat with some of them.

Mr. DORN. Absolutely.

The CHAIRMAN. I'd like it to be a civil conversation. I know everybody feels strongly about this. I'd ask everybody to conduct the discussion in an or orderly manner here because I know this arouses a lot of tensions and feelings. But talk to Secretary Dorn while I'm out of the room. III vote. I'll come back and then we'll finish up this session.

The Committee stands in recess for a short period.

[Recess.]

The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask that everyone take a seat.

Secretary Dorn has to step out for a minute. Kelly, would you accompany Secretary Dorn just for a minute.

In any event, let us resume then, if you're ready to go.

I want to just make a clarification on the memorandum today from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary Perry that's gone out to the Persian Gulf veterans. Does the statement cover Reservists and their families, including those both still in the Reserves and those that may have left the Reserves since the War?

Mr. DORN. I think to the extent that the law permits, it does. I've got to check.

If you're saying does it allow Reservists and their families to receive medical care in regular military facilities, the answer is no, and that is a legal problem which we need to discuss with you and certainly need to discuss with the Committees on Armed Services and the Committees on Veterans' Affairs.

The CHAIRMAN. Let's get a clarification on that as quickly as possible. I would hope they would be included because obviously if they are out there part of the walking wounded, their problem is precisely the same as someone else.

Mr. DORN. Clearly, nothing in this changes existing law, and the existing law says active-duty personnel and their families get treated in military treatment facilities, that Reservists, under normal circumstances, would go into the VA system.

Now the law can be changed, but-

The CHAIRMAN. Here's what I'd like you to do. I'd like you to get together with the VA and let’s resolve that we're covering everybody here. I don't want somebody that was out there and who's sick, operating side by side with somebody else who was out there and sick, and one person gets one kind of treatment and the other person either doesn't get treatment or gets a lesser kind of treatment.

We obviously don't want that, so I just want to make sure that that gets reconciled within 24 hours in some way so that the message that's going out is that anybody that suited up and went is going to get the same response that’s being pledged here within this letter.

Mr. DORN. Again, within the constraints of the law. We need to work, as I said, on the law. We may need to work on those changes, to make that happen.

The CHAIRMAN. I'll tell you something. If we need to do that, I think I can make you a guarantee. If the Defense Department determines we need a change in the law in that area, let's get it drafted. I'll offer it on the floor to the next bill through. I'll bet I can get close to 100 co-sponsors and we'll let it passed. There'll be no barrier, I don't believe, to getting that one if we need that, but I don't want that to become a Catcb-22 either.

So-

Mr. DORN. And it clearly is a limitation because, under current law, Reservists' families cannot be treated, either by the regular military facilities or in VA facilities.

The CHAIRMAN. See, I don't know that we've had a situation quite like this one where we pressed so many Reservists into action quickly and so many of them are now sick. They were operating under color of the U.S. Government obviously in a war zone. So the last thing they deserve is an answer that says, sorry, we can't get to you because the law's that way.

Mr. DORN. I understand.

The CHAIRMAN. You know, we've got to fix that problem.

Mr. DORN. Mr. Chairman, may I say further in response to that, the discussions while you were voting were helpful. A couple of things are clear.

One is that we need to send a clearer, stronger message to the physicians who are responsible for treating folks regarding the need to take these illnesses very seriously and regarding the need to lay out a very strict protocol for them. Our expressions of good intention must be reflected where it matters, and that's in individual clinics around the Nation. We need to make sure it happens.

The CHAIRMAN. Let me cover another item with you right up front.

We have some service personnel in the room here other than the group that's accompanying you, and some have roles in the intelligence area and may have very important information, firsthand information that they gathered as part of their official duties, that they feel and know to be highly relevant to the inquiry we're doing. They've identified themselves. They want to convey that information, and they've been told by superiors not to do that. That they're not to give us classified information.

I mean, my blood pressure goes to 5000 when that happens because precisely what we need to have is all the information, and I would like an assurance from you now, provided you have the authority to give it, and if not, then I want you to go and get it from whoever you have to get it from, that present and former military personnel and Defense Department personnel are fully free and authorized to give us what information they have and not be in the situation where they're having a gun put to their head by the Defense Department that says, no, you can't tell what you know.

Mr. DORN. The Secretary and the Chairman say that people should be free to talk about their experiences, but let me clarify it further, addressing specifically that clause which says that this information is not classified.

The CHAIRMAN. See, I think all this information related to this topic should now be declassified. I think everybody in the public domain ought to have a right to see it, including the medical researchers and others. But very specifically, I don't want any of us who have proper congressional roles to play here to be denied access to any of this information.

That is absolutely unacceptable and want to get that cleared up today.

Mr. DORN. Let me clarify further.

The CHAIRMAN. Now, earlier, you made a statement or a statement was made by one of the three of you that all of the chemical gents and related equipment that was discovered was found stored far from the Kuwait field of operations.

At An Nasiriyah, and we've got a map over here where bombings occurred and many chemical weapons were found, that area is only 125 miles from the Kuwait/Saudi border and it's well within SCUD missile range of most coalition deployments. Weren't U.S. forces located around this area?

Dr. PROCIV. Yes, they were.

I'll say frankly the word, far, got in the last draft of Dr. Dorn's testimony this morning. I thought we had that fixed to be stricken from the draft testimony that he was given.

It is not correct to say that all munitions were found far from the KTL, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, that’s an important clarification. So there were instances then where some of these munitions were found close to where we had troop deployments?

Dr. PROCIV. That’s correct.

The CHAIRMAN. This would be one. Can you cite others?

Dr. PROCIV. Not off the top of my head. Just a second.

[Pause.]

I think the answer, sir, is that we attacked Talil but U.N. inspections show nothing in that after the War.

That's it.

The CHAIRMAN. But in terms of An Nasiriyah here, we did find them there. Do I assume that we continued to use our forces to secure that area as the War went along? We would not have just been in that area and then left, would we?

Dr. PROCIV. I don't know those details of how long we were in that area. My understanding is that munitions were found not at the site we bombed, but some 15 nautical miles away from where we attacked.

The CHAIRMAN. How close would U.S. forces have been stationed to that?

Dr. PROCIV. I think they were across the river. Not stationed but during the ground force phase of the campaign, that’s as close as we got,

The CHAIRMAN. The river would be how wide, roughly? What are we talking about?

Dr. PROCIV. It's a desert area so I expect it's not very wide there.

The CHAIRMAN. So it's a pretty narrow river?

Dr. PROCIV. Right.

The CHAIRMAN. Our troops were right across this narrow river from where we found these things. Is that right?

Dr. PROCIV. They got that close but I don't know how long they were there.

The CHAIRMAN. We've got a lot of questions here. We've covered a lot of ground earlier with Senator Bennett, and I'm going to give you a number of questions for the record to ask you to respond to, and to respond to fully. I know you will. I know it'll be your intention to do that.

I don't want to call you back to pick up the loose ends. I will do that if necessary, so I want to make sure that some staff aid doesn't put a lot of doubletalk in the answers. I want good, straight, pointed answers to the questions I'm going to give you for the record. I would ask to have them answered that way.

I want to make another suggestion to you, because when we started out on this way back when, it was to try to understand what the control regimes were that we bad within our own Government that would have prevented Saddam Hussein from getting the things that he needed to make biological weapons or the things he needed to make chemical weapons.

It was really astonishing to find that our own Government had licensed a shipment of those very things to Saddam Hussein and many of them going directly to military units. There was no subterfuge, they were going to go right into his war production system. Then, of course, when we decided the necessity of going to war with Iraq, we had our own troops suddenly facing weapons that we had helped develop by providing critical items to them.

You're nodding in the affirmative. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but that's correct, is it not?

Mr. DORN. As my opening statement says, it appears that our export control regime was not effective.

The CHAIRMAN. Right. We helped him create these diabolical weapons by supplying a lot of the critical things be needed for them. We also knew that he bad a history of using these weapons. He used them on his own people. He used them on the Kurds years earlier, gassed and killed a lot of people.

So when we went into the War, we must have anticipated a real problem here. I mean we just didn't send these chemical alarms out just to have something to do in all these MOPP 4 outfits. We sent them out there because we anticipated that there was a real threat, did we not?

Mr. DORN. That is true, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. We understood that he had this capability and that it posed a threat to our people and we took various steps. We had the pretreatment pills, we had training we had chemical monitors out in the field, we had teams designed to do this. All of that certainly creates a very strong supposition that we were worried about what he might do. I don t think the Defense Department did this for an exercise. There was a real worry that he might use these chemical weapons or biological weapons, wasn't there?

Mr. DORN. There was.

The CHAIRMAN. There was that worry. So these precautions were taken.

Now, as it turns out, and this is where the firsthand statements of veterans I think are so important because they're the ones that were out there, we weren't, and they're the ones, in many cases, who are sick.

When these alarms go off, I must say to you, it's incredible and unbelievable and unsustainable and shouldn't, I don't think, be offered to come here today, any of you and say, look we bad all these chemical alarms and they kept going off in various areas through the War zone, but they were all misfires.

It was all accidental alarms. It doesn't mean there were any chemicals in the area. There are no chemical incidents, and so forth and so on.

Even as Senator Bennett pointed out, going back to some of our firsthand accounts, that in many cases the gear was picked up afterward and who knows what happened to it. We've had lots and lots of other accounts on that.

These alarms went off for a reason, and I think it's clear it's clear in my mind they went off because the things they were designed to detect came into that zone and set them off. I mean, they didn't go off ahead of time, they didn't go off afterward; they went off during the time that things were going on in the War zone that they were designed to detect.

I think it's very important that the Defense Department bring itself to face the reality that a lot of veterans were exposed to chemical agents during this war period. And whether they were fired in an offensive capacity in some instances, or delivered that way, as I also think they were, is really incidental here.

The question is, did people come into contact with these agents, and in all likelihood some biological agents as well, and in some mixture that we don't yet fully understand, is this the foundation for the sickness that a lot of them have? I think the facts now are essentially inescapable that that is a significant part of this problem.

If the Defense Department can't believe that or won't believe that, or if there are institutional reasons, or numerous other reasons that prevent that kind of acknowledgement, I think this problem's going to get a lot worse. In the end, the main losers are going to be the veterans and their families.

The second loser is going to be the Defense Department because you're going to end up with your reputation in ruins. I'm not exaggerating and so I don't want to be misunderstood when I say ill ring veterans in here and have them, one after the o her, and their family members, for days on end, I will do that if I have to, because I want this problem paid attention to. They don't want to come. I don't want to ask them, but we will ask them and they will come. That's not the way to solve this problem, but if there is no other way, then that's the way we will do it.

This is not a shot across the bow. This is about as direct as the communications get between the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch.

I will fight to get you what you need. You want money to treat sick veterans and their families? I'll go to the floor. I'll get a coalition of Republicans and Democrats. I think you saw that here today. This is a bipartisan concern. If we need to change the laws, we'll get the laws changed.

What we won't do is allow this thing to be swept under the rug or covered up or fuzzed off in some way to say that it's not a big deal or it's not very serious, or something else.

So to the extent that there's a willingness to acknowledge this problem and deal with it directly and solve it, then you're going to find you've got a lot of friends here that will help you get that done.

Every additional minute that there's foot dragging, or Catch-22 logic or fine-shaving of statements and so forth, for whatever the reasons, then you're going to have a war, and it won't be a war you win in the end, and it's one you shouldn't wage.

I'd like to have an understanding here that we solve this problem. These veterans, I've talked to hundreds of them now directly. These are not malingerers, these are not malcontents, these are not people who are having fantasies. These are sick people who, in every case, were well when they went to the War or they could not have even gone to the War. In many cases, they are people who were among the most fit. People that have gone through survival school, paratroop training, run marathons, and various other things. The fact that their health has been turned upside down is a genuine national tragedy. We can't hold back anything that they need to get to the bottom of this and fix their problems as best we can. I do want you to talk to some of these spouses and children because you're not going to appreciate this problem until you do.

When you talk to a veteran's wife whose hair is falling out and whose reproductive cycle has been knocked completely haywire who was healthy before her husband came back from the Gulf War, you’re going to understand this problem in a way you can't understand it before that. You've got to put a real face, lots of real faces on this thing to understand the severity of it.

I think the Defense Secretary himself needs to do some of this, to make it real and tangible in terms of the urgency of this problem.

I'm going to expect a good faith response from everybody here. What we can't tolerate and what I won't tolerate is a situation where anybody's intimidated, anybody's called up and it is suggested to them that they give a programmed answer. Anybody told, don't come forward, or in some oblique way is urged not to come forward, I mean that's not tolerable.

I don't believe you would do that or countenance that and so I would ask you, as an agent for this Committee on this issue, pursuant to this discussion, to please go back to the hierarchy up and down the line and make sure the message is delivered as clearly as you are capable of doing it-and you are a very good communicator-that we've got to get to the bottom of this and we've got to do it as fast as we possibly can. And whatever it takes to do it, has to be done.

The old suppositions and the old ways of analyzing the problem I think have to be put aside to see if there isn't some new way to look at it.

Senator Bennett, whose father was a Senator before him, has a long record of support of defense issues. I think be gave you some very wise counsel and advice, and that is that this is a problem that may have to be looked at. You're not going to find the answer until you escape from a preconditioned way of looking at it, to look at it in a new way and in a fresh way.

I'm going to expect that done and I'd like to end on that kind of a note of constructive agreement that we will cooperate in achieving those goals. But I don't want there to be any illusion or misunderstanding. We have to get to the bottom of this, and if I'm not satisfied within a short period of time that we're really moving at top speed, and that we're escaping from all of the kind of doubletalk that's been associated with many cases up until now, I'm going to start holding the hearings, and you know, I don't want to have to do it that way.

Mr. Dorn. Mr. Chairman, I hear you clearly. I will try to respond. Thank you.

The CHAIRMAN. We're going to give you questions for the record and we would appreciate, as I say, full responses to those and we'll look forward to getting those back.

The Committee stands in recess until our next hearing, which will start at 2:45 p.m.

[Whereupon, at 2:01 p.m., the Committee was recessed, to reconvene the same day, Wednesday, May 25, 1994, at 2:45 p.m., in the same place.]

AFTERNOON SESSION

The CHAIRMAN. [2:57 p.m.] The Committee will come to order.

Let me welcome all those in attendance. We're starting a little late because we ran so long this morning.

We're joined by Senator Kerry who has a very important interest in this matter and who's been out into this area. Let me call on Senator Kerry.
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