Factual · Powerful · Original · Iconoclastic
All of the following letters arose from a single column I wrote, “No More Gulf War Syndromes.” It got posted on a few bulletin boards and next thing you know, I was under a “shock and awe” attack from allegedly sick alleged vets. This is not to say there aren’t any sick Gulf vets, a point I’ve repeatedly made clear. But they’re not the ones writing me the nasty letters. In the past, I would occasionally ask somebody to fax me part of their medical records, which would prove if they truly had the symptoms they complained of. I would also sometimes ask for their unit name so that I could verify that their unit ever served in the Gulf or whether they even wore a uniform since they left the Cub Scouts. In some of the letters, I left my request in for you. What I’ve found is what I’ve long suspected. Nobody will fax medical records, for the obvious reason that they have nothing in those records to support their case or they have no VA hospital records at all. (One person gave me something in electronic format, yet not only does that hardly substitute for written, signed, and stamped pages but it actually showed he was quite healthy!) A few people did provide unit names and I believe they at least were in the military. But it’s clear that the vast majority of these alleged Gulf vets are not vets, or if they are vets never got near the Gulf, and none have the symptoms they claim they have. This is hardly a new phenomenon, as Burkett and Whitley point out in their book about Vietnam vets, Stolen Valor. As I told one writer, there are too many scam artists on this issue for me to simply take anybody's word for anything. Everybody is a healthy non-vet until proven otherwise.
Dear Mr. Fumento,
This is regarding the unfounded statement [sic] you made on 10 April, 2003.
You are clearly an [sic] uninformed narrow minded person. Either you don't know anything about what your [sic] talking about or you don't want to know.
I am one of the Veterans [sic] with ALS ....more than twice the normal rate of occurrence is significantly more than ''slightly higher'' as you would put it. Further more those Vets [sic] with ALS are well below the 'normal' age of onset of 50 yrs.
Scientific Studies [sic] have proven that there is damage to the brain & brain stem consistent with exposure's [sic] to chemical warfare agents.
I was sick in Kuwait and was hospitalized with acute symptoms of sarin nerve gas poisoning for 4 day's.
Merck Home medical guide [sic] even mention's [sic] nerve gas's [sic] used in chemical warfare can cause damage to the nervous system...
*So the “Merck Home medical guide” as you call it says that nerve gas can cause nervous system problems. Now that’s a revelation! Since nobody was hospitalized during the Gulf war with acute symptoms of nerve gas poisoning, it logically stands to reason that you weren’t either. Regarding ALS, of course the Gulf vets with ALS had onset well below the age of 50 years – virtually all of them were less than 50 years old! How could it be otherwise? Finally, you have displayed ignorance of statistics and epidemiology. A doubling can in fact be a “slight increase” when the numbers involved are extremely low, as indeed they are here. This is called “lack of statistical power.” For example, we know that one in four Americans will contract cancer. But because odds don’t spread themselves evenly, you may get one family of four with no cancers and one family of four with two cancers. That second family would have double the expected incidence of cancer. But because we’re dealing with a grand total of four people, there is no statistical significance. Of the second study, Dr. Daniel Drachman, a neurologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, said "the data are not sufficiently clear to convince me that there is a true effect,” adding, according to Reuter’s news service, “that they do not show that the servicemen who were in the Gulf War had a significantly higher risk of ALS. The statistical analysis revealed that that there is a less than 95% probability that those who were deployed had higher incidence of ALS, he pointed out.” *
You have the arrogance to imply that I'm ignorant?
Well, I can't say I agree with the "arrogance" part, but the "ignorance" label, as you've demonstrated, is very much deserved.
[He responded with 145 words of blather in an incredible number of fonts and sizes. I’ll have to check the “Merck Home medical guide” to see what mental disorder that indicates. He also reiterated, in huge letters, that he was indeed treated for sarin exposure but didn’t offer up any medical records to show it, nor did he respond to my request to identify his unit. He did say he was attached to a Special Forces Unit and SEAL unit, which is a common sign of a fake vet. (Fake vets never claim to have been cooks or to have worked in maintenance units.) I subsequently received another forty (40) emails from him, all purged without reading. Then I received the following from somebody that he had CC’d.]
Mike: Don't waste your time and affect your blood pressure over this turkey. *[These guys] *have their own agenda that has no particular relationship with the truth. We can only hope that in the fullness of time the root of their hypocrisy will be exposed. Meantime, Mike, carry on!
I wrote you several years back concerning your obvious bias and ignorance concerning what has become known as "Gulf War Illness"/"Gulf War Syndrome"/Persian Gulf Illness". The studies you cite are part of a greater scheme of disinformation perpetrated by our own government agencies. The examples you cite such as : [sic] hair loss, gaying hair [gaying?], muscle cramping are a far cry from what many of us suffer from.
[114 words omitted.]
If the facts are not evident, then why has the DoD refused to declassify all documents relating to the conflict?
[113 words omitted.]
There is a great lie about the first Gulf War, perpetuated by the DoD, its entities and individuals such as yourself. It is individuals such as yourself who are a great disservice to the military and our country. I challenge you to receive blood from me or any of those of us who are truly victims of chemical/biological/radiological exposures.
[256 words omitted.]
There is simply so much more,... [sic] but I longer want to elaborate or educate you any more. I think you get the point by now. Don't make statements or write articles on things pertaining to the Gulf War...unless you walked in our boots...especially those of us who were combat arms and /or also on the front lines going through Iraq and ending up in a living nightmaress [sic] hell amongst the thick clouds of noxious air surrounding the burning oil fields.
[alleged unit omitted]
Dear Mr. Jones:
*Yeah, yeah. The only things you left out were UFOs and the Trilateral Commission. My column spoke for itself. You may or may not be disabled. You may or may not be a vet. But on the whole, GW vets are healthier than they should be. *
At first I was going to completely ignore your e-mail comments, but after pondering I decided to respond one final time. You remarked that your commentary said it all, for your information you are a laughing stock in the eyes of the Gulf War veteran community. I never mentioned Trilateral Commission or UFO's, nor did I intend on going into your little world of "conspiracy theories". I do have a question though, what did you mean by your statement: "But on the whole. GW vets are healthier than they should be"?
Isn't this contradictory to your commentary? I find it extremely difficult to understand how a supposed Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute can be so ignorant and self serving. You must be a chicken-hawk....like many serving in our current administration, never having served in the military or seen combat action. Don't question my service or my patriotism for one second, I spent 20 years in the Army, including 6 in the 82nd Airborne Division. I will expose you for the worthless human you are. Its [sic] easy to sit behind a computer and continue deceiving readers with your disinformation campaign. In the end run [Sorry, wrong metaphor.], the truth will prevail and you and others like you will cower and no longer have a life. The END!!
Regarding my alleged "laughing stock" status, I'm glad to know that I have finally found a single individual who speaks for 700,000 vets. Tell me, when did they elect you? Half of my entire column was devoted to describing studies showing that Gulf vets are as healthy, if not healthier, than vets that didn't deploy to the Gulf. The thrust of the commentary was that because of this, there is no evidence of GWS. How you find a contradiction in that is beyond me; but then, it's also beyond me how 700,000 people elected you their spokesman without my knowing it. As to the chicken hawk stuff, you're wrong twice over. The definition of a chicken hawk is somebody who is very pro-war but never served in the military. My piece had nothing to do with being pro- or anti-war. More to the point, I served four years in the Army from 1978-1982. If you could read you would know that, because it was posted at the bottom of my column. I could question both your service and your patriotism, especially since anybody who promoted GWS before the second Iraq war was playing right into Saddam's hands. You, in essence, are a Saddamite. Add to this you enjoy scaring the living c--- out of the men and women who bravely served us in the Gulf. On the whole that makes you a pretty wretched excuse for a human being, doesn't it?
Squalene, an illegal adjuvant, used in vaccinations for the first gulf war is the cause of Gulf War Syndrome. I recommend you research "squalene, Pam ASA [sic] PhD, ASA [sic] study or the Univ [sic] of CaliforniaSan [sic] Francisco study on brain damage among gulf war [sic] veterans" on your choice of search engines. Why so many symptoms [sic]? Squalene was intended to 'boost' [sic] the immune system. The opposite has happened as immune systems are being weakened and destroyed. The government refuses to share their information with private researchers. The government is seeking permission to destroy all of their gathered speciemens [sic] taken from gulf war/gulf war [sic] era veterans. Additionally the VA reports that 700,000 medical records of GW veterans have been "lost". How convient [sic].
Dear Mr. Cliburn:
You have only supported my case. Pam Asa’s findings comprised a tiny number of vets and were replicated only once – by her! Your explanation of how squalene could cause harm makes no sense at all and it speaks volumes that you think it does. The rest of your letter is nothing but conspiracy theory. Most importantly, the VA never reported that 700,000 medical records of GW veterans have been “lost.” Either you fabricated that or somebody else did and you didn’t bother to check to see if it were true. How convenient.
Whos [sic] ppayroll [sic] are you on? OSAGWI< DHSD
You are a complete moron.
Body is generating new calcium in all my joints.......WRAMC [Walter Reed Army Medical Center] ...has no explanation...........SAPHO SYNDRONE [sic] = WRAMC Evaluation........68 prople [sic] in the entire world........give me a break..........will end up from a cain [sic] to a wheel-chair [sic] .............Makes me mad and sad !!
Makes me confused as heck!
Re: You Might Consider
i've [sic] been reading what you have to write about gulf war syndrome [sic]. maybe [sic] you can explain why, at the age of 34, i [sic] have crippling arthritis, irregular heartbeat, no energy and a list of other things that no doctor can explain, nor do i [sic] have a history of it in my family. if [sic] you have the answer to it, i'd [sic] love to hear it, since i [sic] can't play with my kids like i [sic] used to, hold down a productive job and the like.
*It's called chance. Disease does not spread itself evenly and most non-infectious illnesses cannot be explained. Why did I have arthritis in both hips in my 30s? Was it from watching Wolf Blitzer in 1991?
By the way, I am now asking all alleged Gulf vets to provide me with the name of their unit and when they served in it so that I can sort out true vets from all the fakes who write to me. I can do a background check in no time. Please provide this information, thank you.
[He provided some general information which was useless in identifying his unit.]
Sir where did you get your facts concerning G.W.S. [sic]?? In 1991 a doctor by the name of Major,Dr.[sic] Doug Ropie,was given the job of cleaning up the depleated [sic] uranium that littered the desert from the last Gulf War.The uranium you see, is released whenever we use our weapons,from smart bombs to tracer rounds.He found this job, unable to be accomplished.Why,because depleated [sic] uranium takes four and a half, billion [sic] years, thats [sic] right billion years to deplete.Dr.Ropie,reported this investgation [sic] and was told to Ignore [sic] the medical problems associated with D.U.. [sic] The Army knows and knew of the hazards of these uranium muinitions [sic] and still has a standing order to Ignore [sic] the health issues with D.U.Dr.Ropie,quickly came down with health problems and still has them to this day ,as well as every assistant he used.More troops where exposed to chemicals and gases at a chemical depot ordered destroyed by Than [sic] Gen. Swartzkoff [sic]. The name of that place was called Kamasia [sic],The [sic] reason I giv [sic]
Dear Mr. Albano:
It seems that it’s not just the Army ignoring your hero, Dr. Ropie. I did a Google search on him and found no mentions. I used another search engine, alltheweb.com, and found five mentions of him – all in Polish. Meanwhile many real studies have found no risk from depleted uranium, including the one discussed here about an investigation by the UK Royal Society in which only tank occupants hit directly by a DU shell were considered at risk. That provides little support for risk from shells lying in the desert. Moreover, the Iraqis never had DU shells and moreover failed to knock out a single Abrams tank in the first Gulf War. But other than that, your letter made perfect sense.
and a loser, go back to the hole you came out of, your information on GWI is provided by the people to whom you kiss ASS. GET A LIFE.
I have one, thank you. The question is, do you? In fact, are you even a Gulf vet? Please provide quite specifically which unit you served with in the war so that I can verify you are not just another fake slacker seeking attention.
SO U THINK GULF WAR SYNDRONE [sic] IS A HOAX YOU MY FRIEND ARE VERY SADLY MISINFORMED!!! FOR THOSE OF US THAT DO HAVE GULF WAR SYNDRONE [sic], YOU MAKE IT VERY HARD FOR PEOPLE WITH ISSUES ABOUT THE WAR. AS FOR ME I HAVE CANCER AS A RESULT OF THE GULF WAR AND THE USE OF DEPLETED URANIUM
*Dear Mr. Blevins, *
Insofar as exhaustive testing has shown that DU does not cause cancer, it did not cause your cancer. That assumes you even have cancer. And it assumes you ever served in the Gulf. Could you please provide, quite specifically, which unit you served in so that I can verify that you are a true GW vet and not somebody who is disgracing those who really did serve? Thank you.
To Mr. Mike Fumento:
I have made a point to read your print and get to know your philosophy and your style. You consistently write with a contemptuous tone. You humorously and conveniently take what information you want for your writing purposes, completely void of responsible and constructive counters to validate that which you demean. You recklessly criticize other scientific professionals with no regard of professional ethics or a respect of a balance of professional opinions.
You evidently do not care a wit for the sacrifices, pain, and suffering over a hundred thousand families have had to endure to find any sort of relief for these Gulf War maladies that you mock with such analogies as athletes feet and genital herpes. But hey! It makes for good dynamic print. It pays your beer tab as long as you can write critically and be on the easy popular side of a controversy. Kind of like making fun of fat people, they are easy targets [sic]. It's your opinion. And it is my opinion that you are the stuff that tyrants are made of.
The GW medical conditions do not warrant the cheap profile which you describe with amusement. These Gulf War ill veterans did not get blown up, or shot down, but they are just as deserving of respect and gratitude as any other veteran who has served their country, paid their dues, and find themselves messed up and messed over. I can appreciate that you find it easy and satisfying to kick a man when he is down, or that sick people are unattractive. Fortunately, there are people in the world who are humanitarians. These are the people that find ways to help, not hurt, humiliate nor scorn.
If chanting could make GW illnesses go away, more people would have joined you to dismiss it, including those who want to live a full, healthy life. Go throw your writing-grenades where it might do some good. Leave the wounded alone. But then what would you do for a living if you could not write in your belligerent style about the unknown?
I know.....short writings are safe and effective enough, like sound bites. It is unlikely that we can look to you for accurate perception.....you are good for hyper words like athletes feet and genital herpes, it goes good with sloppy science.
L. A. McClure
Alaska Gulf War Syndrome Referrals
If by that you mean that I make sanctimonious self-serving self-important parasites like yourself look like, well, sanctimonious self-serving self-important parasites, then we agree.
HERE IS A LIST OF MY DIAGNOSES YOU SAY IN YOUR ARTICLE THAT DON'T EXIST...
PLUS, I FIND YOU TO BE A COMPLETE JACKASS ON THIS ISSUE ... Mike H., USAF,
PDRL, DISABLED VETERAN..., A single depleted uranium shell fired from an M1 Abrams would pop the turret right off even the best Iraqi tanks, often causing other enemy tank crews to simply surrender. hatemail14.html