Natural News | July 26 2012
Natural News ~ The United States, for its warts, has achieved much in its short 230-plus year history. It is a benevolent world superpower, for the most part, that serves as a beacon of hope and freedom for an increasingly oppressed world, even as it serves as a guardian against tyranny for as many as half of the world’s nearly seven billion people.
But a few chapters in our history – slavery, oppression of the Native American tribes, causes of the civil rights movement, and moments of unconstitutionality on the part of our elected leaders – serve as more than simple blemishes on an otherwise admirable record of defending liberty and freedom. One such stain is the way we’ve treated some of our nation’s military veterans.
The maltreatment is summed up in a recent federal case. In late July, a group of veterans managed to win a court order forcing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to hand over a trove of documents detailing the department’s alleged Cold War-era drug experiments on Vietnam vets. What’s problematic about this case isn’t the decision – the VA owes these veterans any answers they are seeking – but the fact that the case had to be filed at all.
According to court documents, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley, in Oakland, Calif., said in her ruling that the documents requested by the veteran-plaintiffs were “squarely relevant” to their claim that the government, through the VA, did not adequately notify veterans of chemicals they were purposely exposed to during experimentation, and – perhaps more importantly – what effects that exposure might have had on their physical and mental health.
Details of this sad episode in our history were contained in a 2009 class action suit. Filed by the Vietnam Veterans of America and individual soldiers, the suit charges the U.S. Army and the Central Intelligence Agency, with the help of former Nazi scientists, of using at least 7,800 vets as guinea pigs to test the effects of as many as 400 different types of drugs and chemicals. They included mescaline (psychedelic alkaloid), LSD (psychedelic drug), amphetamines, barbiturates, nerve agents and mustard gas.