June 23, 2008 – This week’s update contains four critical news articles, including VA’s failure to provide oversight of drug experiments on our veterans, VA’s rejection of nearly all claims for veterans exposed to secret germ warfare tests, how doctors confirm enemy prisoners of war were tortured, and how the conflict in Afghanistan continues spiraling out of control.
1 – Veteran Guinea Pigs? Last week ABC News revealed how VA uses our own veterans suffering from PTSD as guinea pigs for testing an anti-smoking drug that increases the risk of suicide. VA was very slow in telling veterans about these fatal side-effects. VCS deplores the VA’s failure to protect the rights of our veterans. We are demanding that VA suspend the tests and that Congress investigate the lack of oversight.
Please make a gift today to VCS so we can continue fighting for the rights of our veterans in Washington, DC.
2 – VA Rejects Nearly All SHAD Disability Claims. The Associated Press revealed that VA has only approved 6% of health claims for SHAD veterans exposed to chemical and germ warfare tests during secret experiments code named Project 112. “These numbers are shocking, disgraceful and disappointing and reflect poorly on VA,” said Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense.
Please make a gift today to VCS so we can continue fighting for a fairer and faster VA claims system for our veterans.
3 – Scientific Evidence of Torture. In other disturbing news, a new Physicians for Human Rights report shows overwhelming medical evidence of torture in 11 former enemy prisoners of war held by the U.S. “This report tells the largely untold human story of what happened to detainees in our custody when the commander in chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture,” retired Army Major General Antonio Taguba, who oversaw the official investigation of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal in Iraq in 2004, wrote in the preface. We ask, does this report rise to the level of strong evidence of war crimes? Tell us what you think.
Please give to VCS today so we can work to protect our civil liberties. VCS rejects torture by anyone anywhere.
4 – The Forgotten Afghanistan War. Are the Taliban Fighters on the rebound? “Last week’s dramatic jailbreak of approximately 400 Taliban in Kandahar – an embarrassment for which the Canadians blamed the Afghans who blamed the Pakistanis – is a symptom of a bigger problem. The insurgency is getting stronger…”
As Thomas Paine once said, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”
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