Thursday, January 8, 2009

Vets sue CIA, Defense Dept. over military experiments

A few days ago I posted a comment about a recent decision in a lawsuit related to atomic bomb testing in the 1950s. Today, the Chicago Daily Bulletin reports that six veterans who say they were exposed to dangerous chemicals, germs and mind-altering drugs during Cold War-era experiments filed a federal lawsuit against the CIA, Department of Defense and other agencies Wednesday. If you are interested in Cold War era/atomic testing issues, I recommend a documentary called "Atomic Soldier" which is all about the soldiers who were exposed to testing during the 50s. Unfortunately, it is a difficult movie to find. You can also try the book Justice Downwind and the movies "Atomic Cafe" and "Bikini Radio." In the lawsuit filed yesterday, the veterans say they volunteered for military experiments as part of a wide-ranging program started in the 1950s to test nerve agents, biological weapons and mind-control techniques, but were not properly informed of the nature of the experiments. They blame the experiments for poor health and are demanding that the government provide their health care. Interestingly, the plaintiffs are not seeking monetary damages but have demanded access to health care for veterans, saying they were turned away at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities because they could not prove their ailments were related to their military service.

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