The Department of Defense maintains an extensive and interesting set of
declassified documents relating to Gulf War Syndrome at this site. This is the same site
where the CIA deleted a bunch of documents in an attempt to reclassify
Eddington, former CIA analyst, together with his wife, also a former
CIA analyst, quit the CIA when they found that the veterans were not being given the full
truth about what was known about the probabilities and effects of exposure to chemical and
biological agents during the Gulf War.
Quoting from an AP story that ran in Newsday, 10-31-1996, pp A18:
Washington - Records of U.S. military units deployed in the Persian Gulf
war contain abundant evidence of exposure to Iraqi chemical weapons, a former CIA analyst
said yesterday. He accused the Pentagon and CIA of engaging in "a pattern of
deception and denial."
"There's no way you can even begin to get a complete picture of what
happened over there unless and until they declassify every single unit log," said
Patrick Eddington, who resigned from the CIA earlier this year.
During the 1991 gulf war, Eddington analyzed satellite photos of Iraqi
troop movements. Later, he and his wife, Robin, also a CIA analyst, began collecting
information about the possible use of chemical weapons during that conflict. Robin
Eddington also resigned from the CIA this year. ...
Eddington said in an interview that logs of the 101st Airborne Division
from January, 1991, showed that during a period of two or three hours, "one unit
repeatedly detected chemical agents." He also said top Pentagon officials including
Defense Secretary William Perry and Gen. John Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, falsely denied the existence of evidence of U.S. forces' exposure to chemical
agents during the conflict with Iraq.
Eddington alleged a government cover-up in a letter published by The
Washington Times on Dec. 7, 1994. He elaborated on his accusations in an interview
published yesterday in The New York Times.
Washington - Persian Gulf war veterans told a House
subcommittee yesterday that they had been exposed to Iraqi chemical agents
during Operation Desert Storm and criticized the Pentagon for denying their complaints.
"The Pentagon knew from Day One that chemical weapons were
used," said Marine Corps Maj. Randy Herbert. "They have a reason to cover the
truth. They have done so in the past with World War II and also with Agent Orange in
Vietnam. They don't want to be held responsible for all the people who are now sick and
the ones who have already died."
Herbert's words, difficult to understand because he has Lou Gehrig's
disease, were relayed by his wife, Kim, and father, Lloyd, to the House Subcommittee on
Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations. He blames the disease, a nerve disorder,
on low-level chemical exposure. ...
Earlier yesterday, the head of U.S. operations in the 1991 war, Gen.
Norman Schwarzkopf, repeated on NBC's "Today" that there is no evidence the
Iraqis used chemical weapons and emphasized that "there was no cover-up on the part
of the military." ...
In contrast to Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, who has
said that chemical detection equipment alarms went off regularly during the war but were
discounted by ground crews as false positives, Army Maj. Michael Johnson said,
"Everyone there believed what we found. Senior leadership on the ground looked at it.
Everyone that day believed that system - the Fox - worked. There was no doubt in anybody's
mind that chemicals were found." ...
Army Sgt. George Grass, who repeatedly testified to the reliability of
both the Fox vehicles and the trained crew that ran them, told of discovering drums of
sulphur mustard gas at a weapons depot outside Kuwait City with "the exact same
ammunition boxes as used by Holland, Jordan and the United States."
Grass and Johnson said proof of chemical agents, such as records from the
Fox vehicles, were given to their superiors and that they never saw them again. Last week
the Pentagon shed three years of denial and admitted having records indicating that Fox
vehicles detected chemicals before and during the war to which more than 20,000 soldiers
may have been exposed.
Jim Hargrove's Summary of Veterans' and Eddington's Testimony
A U.S. House Subcommittee on Gulf War Illnesses chaired by Rep.
Christopher Shays (R, CT) held a hearing today that was televised live on C-SPAN. It
included stunning testimony from four witnesses who all accused CIA and DOD of a massive
coverup hiding extensive exposure of Gulf War veterans to chemical and possibly biological
weapons, both from exploded munitions dumps and from active attacks by Iraqi soldiers.
Several witnesses testified that literally thousands of chemical warfare monitors sounded
alarms constantly throughout the conflict. All were ignored by U.S. commanders and
characterized them as "false alarms," although additional testimony indicated
that the same "defective" monitors are still in use in the U.S. military.
One of the most stunning charges, soon backed up by others, was made by
Marine Sgt. George Grass, who said that while operating a chemical weapons detecting
vehicle equipped with a mass spectrometer, he encountered U.S.-made biological weapons in
enemy munitions dumps in the Desert Storm theater. Later witnesses said that chemical
warfare agents were supplied to Iraq during its war with Iran in the 1980s. Rep. Bernard
Sanders (I, VT) noted that "these weapons were then used against our soldiers."
The saddest testimony came from Marine Maj. Rand Hebert, who was unable to
stand without assistance and whose speech was so slurred and unintelligible that his wife
had to repeat his words to the committee. Maj. Herbert testified that he had seen at least
one mine explode releasing only a "plume of mist and smoke." He heard others
that sounded the same. One of his jobs was to deliberately detonate chemical warfare
mines, which then released their hazardous contents. He said that, so far, he is receiving
nothing but a "runaround" from DOD and the VA.
Also testifying was former CIA analyst Patrick Eddington, who said he was
forced to quit the Agency after it was clear to him that its management was "refusing
to deal honestly and openly" with the entire issue. Eddington said there is evidence
that most Iraqi combat units carried chemical and possibly biological weapons, and that
some of them had been used in active attacks. He said that, in his opinion, approximately
half of the roughly 500,000 U.S. troops in Desert Storm had been exposed to chemical
and/or biological warfare hazards.
With some difficulty, Eddington introduced a DOD document from January
1990, a full year before the Gulf War, which detailed possible life-long health
consequences and potential birth defects from exposure to low levels of chemical warfare
agents. According to a U.S. soldier he quoted, all members of an American military unit in
Germany in charge of guarding and dismantling U.S. chemical warfare stockpiles were
required to sign this document as a legal disclaimer.
Chairman Shays revealed part of the contents of a July 2, 1996 letter from
CIA director Robert Deutch which stated, in part: "Our study concluded no chemical
weapon or biological agents were used by the Iraqis and facilities known to contain
biological/chemical agents were not bombed." Rep. Shays duly noted additional
whoppers told by the outgoing DCI.
Former CIA analyst Eddington added: "...they were terrified at the
managerial level of having to deal with this.... It was easy for me to understand why.
General Schwartzkopf came out in June of 1991 and testified before Congress that the CIA
did nothing for him during the Persian Gulf War.
"So for the past five and a half years, the CIA has spent a
tremendous amount of time and money to ingratiate themselves with the Department of
Defense, to make itself indispensable to the DOD.... So here my wife and I walk in and
tell them that their biggest customer is a liar, and that tens of thousands, if not
hundreds of thousands, of troops have been exposed. Is that a message that's going to be
well-received by a bureaucracy such as the CIA? No, it isn't."