UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
+ + + + +
PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
GULF WAR VETERANS' ILLNESS
+ + + + +
+ + + + +
JUNE 24, 1997
+ + + + +
+ + + + +
The Presidential Advisory Committee on
Gulf War Veterans' Illness met at the Adams Mark
Hotel, Arkansas Ballroom, 939 Ridge Lake Boulevard,
Chairperson Joyce C. Lashof presiding.
Agenda Item Page
Dr. Joyce C. Lashof, Chairperson. . . . . . . . . .3
William Bowman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Dannie Wolf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Michael Hood. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Staff Sgt. Paul Lyons . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
IMPLEMENTATION: Pre- and Post-Deployment
Epidemiology of U.S. Troops
Dr. Denise T. Koo,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Major Sheila Kinty, USAF, . . . . . . . . . . 68
Department of Defense (Health Affairs)
DOD ISSUES ANALYSES: MOPP Guidance, M8 Alarm
Capability, SCUD Chem/Bio Capability. . . . . . . 99
Mr. Bernard Rostker
Ms. Anne Rathmell Davis
LTC Art Nalls, USMC, Department of Defense
ONGOING DOD INVESTIGATIONS: Al Jubayl,
11th Marines, ASP/Orchard . . . . . . . . . . . .148
Dr. Bernard Rostker
Ms. Anne Rathmell Davis
LTC Art Nalls, USMC, Department of Defense
ONGOING DOD INVESTIGATIONS (updates): Fox
Vehicle Detections, Edgewood Fox Vehicle. . . . .210
Tapes, Marine Breaching
Dr. Bernard Rostker
Ms. Anne Rathmell Davis
LTC Art Nalls, USMC, Department of Defense
ONGOING DOD INVESTIGATIONS:
VII Corps "Frag Order". . . . . . . . . . . . . .244
Dr. Bernard Rostker
Ms. Anne Rathmell Davis
LTC Art Nalls, USMC, Department of Defense
COMMITTEE AND STAFF DISCUSSION: Next Steps. . . .272
2 (9:10 a.m.)
3 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: This is a panel
4 Sub-Committee meeting of the Presidential Advisory
5 Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illness. This is the
6 twenty-first meeting or Sub-Committee meeting of our
7 Committee. We will be dealing today with the reports
8 primarily from the Department of Defense concerning
9 their further investigations.
10 So with that I'll call this meeting to
11 order and we will begin as we always begin with
12 comments from the public. I would remind the people
13 who are commenting to confine their comments to five
14 minutes and then we'll have five minutes to question.
15 The first person to speak will be William
16 Bowman. Mr. Bowman, come forward to the podium,
17 please. If you would come to that podium and use that
18 mike that would be helpful. Thank you.
19 MR. BOWMAN: You all have a packet there
20 that I put in an envelope.
21 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Yes, sir.
22 MR. BOWMAN: First on the stack is a list
1 of approximately three hundred vets being treated or
2 turned away for one thing or another. Some of them
3 have had to pay bills even though they're Persian Gulf
5 Some of the complaints that we've been
6 told that we're not supposed to -- supposed to have a
7 free check-up and what have you pertaining to the
8 Persian Gulf. And I've got a couple of the complaints
9 in here in the packet from a couple of the vets that
10 just recently one had a tumor removed in January and
11 he went up there to follow-up on his Persian Gulf and
12 they charged his insurance company. And he's been
13 having telephone calls from his company and what have
14 you that it doesn't justify the communication.
15 The second little thing I've got is where
16 I'm the coordinator for East Tennessee region,
17 primarily representing all these people here. We all
18 have the same problems and the symptoms are pretty
19 much the same. There's a page in there that shows the
20 basic symptoms we've got .
21 One of the complaints that I had while I
22 was trying to go to the rehab to get some education to
1 further what I already have, Dr. Bennett was sent a
2 communication from Nashville to VA like in 1995. I
3 get a letter in 1997 following it up, he never
4 received that letter. And I'm very sure in my mind
5 that the VA has side stopped the mail to Dr. Bennett.
6 Dr. Bennett has since been fired. That
7 needs to be rectified. He's the only doctor that's
8 been treating us, plus the fact he was in the Persian
9 Gulf also.
10 I've got a protocol form here whereas I
11 think some of you have got the packets that I gave you
12 in Tampa change the microsporidia. Based on the
13 protocol just the symptoms alone calls for -- if
14 you've got chronic fatigue problems one of the things
15 at least viral serology I have sent to CDC, this was
16 never done for any of them. Plus the fact they don't
17 check for the viruses, they don't check for the
18 polysommography, MSLT or whatever. Anything beyond
19 what the hospital has done in the past they won't do
21 Then in following up on that packet I gave
22 you last time in Tampa I've got a response from Fred
1 Thompson. And that response has in the letter under
2 the memorandum the second paragraph I've underlined
3 it. "...Mr. Guetierrez has identified small round
4 bodies in the stool of some Gulf War veterans."
5 But going back to your old picture that I
6 had on that microspor I've got you a picture of it
7 there. If you go on a basic microspor study you won't
8 see anything except a round body, but he went beyond
9 his own, I guess privileges, I guess, and used
10 electron microscope of 40,000 and 70,000 and the
11 picture of that spor does not look round to me.
12 Now whether that is in our blood or not --
13 he says it was, but now he can't back himself up
14 because Mountain Home is cutting him down. Now he was
15 suspended, I think, for about two or three weeks along
16 with the dismissal of Dr. Bennett.
17 The last packet, human brucellosis in
18 Kuwait, perspective study of 400 cases. We've got
19 several people that have been back to Kuwait visiting
20 friends that they made while they were over there
21 during Persian Gulf. Now also some friends have come
22 over here to visit, and this is East Tennessee
1 personnel. In this packet they've had an ongoing
2 epidemic since 1988. This epidemic is still finding
3 scattered cases today, and this pertains to human
4 brucellosis in Kuwait.
5 Now it's scattered in the sand, that
6 microspor that you've got that picture of was in the
7 bottle of sand that I brought back. And my problem is
8 they haven't thrown it away but all the material that
9 Guetierrez accumulated pertaining to this microspor
10 has been boxed in a cardboard box and set aside and
11 taken out of the computer.
12 Yet those doctors still say -- they
13 couldn't say that that's what he found. Simply, I say
14 simply because they didn't bother to go with the test
15 that he went. And that test comes from a test
16 procedure that was done in Australia.
17 Now as far as the chemicals and stuff
18 we've all been exposed to chemicals. During the time
19 I was there we had the smoke coming down on us. My
20 personal job was to maintain base heaters, I had about
21 300 of them to keep up with. And just to give you an
22 example if you ever know anything about kerosene,
1 kerosene burns good if it's good. But if it's not
2 good kerosene it will not burn.
3 And I've had many of them where they come
4 in and I have to replace a wick when I had just
5 replaced it the day before. And I've done it like
6 three or four days in a row. So I now for a fact that
7 we've had at least half a dozen different kinds of
8 fuel that they sent us to use for kerosene. So
9 whether we turned them off at night and got in our
10 sleeping bags that's fine, but during the time we're
11 sitting with it we're still breathing it.
12 Plus the fact that we had chemical sprays
13 for mosquitos. We also had three SCUDS that were
14 knocked out in the near vicinity and one was right
15 above us, and that was in Al Jubayl. Them, of course,
16 I've had all my physical problems.
17 My wife is disabled now. She's worked for
18 the Post Office for 13 and a half years, and we went
19 without her income for about nine months. And now
20 she's on her retirement and they still kind of wanted
21 to deny it being disability, but it's still retirement
22 as far as they're concerned.
1 Myself, I'm Service connected for my feet,
2 my ulcers, diabetes which started in February of '91
3 while I was over there. You don't just come home with
4 diabetes like that, especially when I'm in the process
5 of weighing about 195 after having weighed around 230,
6 240. I lost a lot of weight there. And then when I
7 came back home the day I landed in Gulfport,
8 Mississippi I was sick, diarrhea.
9 And they treated me and didn't find out I
10 had ulcers until I went to the VA, and I got a color
11 picture of it to show it. And it's just like ever
12 since then to me it's just been up and down, up and
13 down one after the other. I can go three or four days
14 and maybe feel alright, two more days, three more days
15 I feel just the opposite.
16 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay, I think at this
17 point it would be best for us to ask some questions of
18 you if the Committee has any since your more than five
19 minutes are up.
20 MR. BOWMAN: I need to get my wife up here
21 because I lost part of my hearing too.
22 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay. Are there
1 questions that any members of the Committee have?
3 MS. KNOX: Yeah. It kind of concerns me
4 what you said about Dr. Bennett at the VA. His name
5 is Al Bennett, and this is at the Mountain Home VA?
6 MR. BOWMAN: Yes.
7 MS. KNOX: And you've had no contact with
8 him now?
9 MR. BOWMAN: Yes, I have. He's working
10 with us at the Persian Gulf Association.
11 MS. KNOX: But you feel like he's been
12 discriminated against because he had helped you?
13 MR. BOWMAN: Yes, I do.
14 MS. KNOX: Has he verbalized that to you?
15 MR. BOWMAN: No. But the way I understand
16 it that all the Persian Gulf vets have been put on
17 what you call primary care.
18 MS. KNOX: Um-huh.
19 MR. BOWMAN: And since we've been on
20 primary care even though I'm Service connected for
21 problems I have been confronted with at primary care
22 they can't help me any more. It doesn't make sense.
1 MS. KNOX: What do you mean they can't
2 help you any more?
3 MR. BOWMAN: Well, when I go in there and
4 I'm sick as a dog I have these episodes where I'm
5 sweating and shaking. Just three nights ago, four
6 nights ago I had uncontrollable shakes, couldn't stop
7 for about five or six hours. And finally I just layed
8 down in the bed and it took about three or four more
9 hours to settle down.
10 MS. KNOX: Do you have a primary physician
11 assigned to you?
12 MR. BOWMAN: Pardon? Yes, but the last
13 two appointments I've been to I haven't seen him.
14 MS. KNOX: You see a nurse practitioner.
15 And so what's your total disability that you get from
16 the VA?
17 MR. BOWMAN: Fifty percent, but they
18 classify 60 percent but I'm getting paid for 50, $613
19 a month.
20 MS. KNOX: And so do you feel like you
21 should get 100 percent for your disability?
22 MR. BOWMAN: Yes, I do, because I can't
1 even get out in the sun to work. I'm a carpenter by
3 MS. KNOX: Is that under review, have you
4 applied for any more disability?
5 MR. BOWMAN: I did it from the beginning,
6 I've done it three or four times since.
7 MS. KNOX: Is it still in the process?
8 MR. BOWMAN: They keep sending me little
9 letters for everything I make a claim to saying we're
10 in the process.
11 MS. KNOX: And that's been over the last
12 six years?
13 MR. BOWMAN: (Nodded head affirmatively).
14 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Any other questions?
15 If not, thank you very much and your testimony will be
16 in our record.
17 MR. BOWMAN: Okay.
18 (The witness was excused.)
19 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Mr. Dannie Wolf.
20 MR. WOLF: You should have in front of you
21 called "Testimony of Dannie Wolf, President of
22 American Veterans Justice Foundation" sealed, before
1 the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War
2 Illnesses, June 24, 1997.
3 Good morning. My name is Dannie Wolf. I
4 come before this Presidential Advisory Committee to
5 question its ability and integrity to determine the
6 cause or causes of Gulf War Veterans Illnesses.
7 To-date all research, findings by this nation's
8 medical institutions have yet to be recognized as
9 medical causes to support Gulf War Veterans claims
10 that their service during the Gulf War has resulted in
11 their illnesses due to the Gulf War service.
12 I ask the Presidential Advisory Committee
13 why you have failed to address the question of
14 biological exposures and the present communicability
15 of veterans to their families, friends and medical
16 professionals. That this Committee has been presented
17 evidence and prior testimony before this panel by
18 United States Air Force and Active Reserve Captain
19 Joyce Riley, Captain Charles and Julianne Hamden, Dr.
20 Garth Nicolson, Sally Medley, Aubrey Leager and many
21 others, shows a complete lack of interest on your part
22 to address this issue.
1 Apparently this panel is following
2 Department of Defense protocol by refusing to address
3 their poor response from the beginning and that EOD's
4 continued reluctance to send personnel to Dr. Garth
5 Nicolson's laboratory in Irvin, California.
6 It appears to those of us infected by this
7 illness that the Department of Defense is stalling on
8 investigating this issue. I've written to Dr. Bernard
9 Rostker on several occasions concerning this matter
10 and he has failed to address my questions.
11 That the Department of Veterans Affairs
12 has issued a statement by the Secretary of Health, Dr.
13 Kenneth Kizer, that one researcher is being an alarm
14 shows the mentality of those who refuse to address
15 this problem head on.
16 Mycoplasma fermentans incognitus is
17 composed of 40 percent of the HIV 1 Viral Envelope
18 Gene which surrounds the bacteria. That I have never
19 seen before in nature. Now if some of you have I
20 would love to know what other mycoplasmas has 40
21 percent of the HIV 1.
22 Despite the mis-information by the
1 Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of
2 Defense this mycoplasma is spreading throughout the
3 general population. Special Assistant Dr. Bernard
4 Rostker has written to me stating he has seen no
5 evidence that this mycoplasma was pre-(inaudible
7 Perhaps an investigation of Operation
8 Daylily MKULTRA will provide the evidence required to
9 substantiate its development by the researchers
10 involved in the project at the Walls Prison Unit in
11 Huntsville, Texas. Dr. Shi-Ching Lo who works at the
12 Armed Forces Institute of Pathology presently, he was
13 one of the participants in that research by Tanox
14 Biosystems located in Houston, Texas.
15 Dr. Lo's supervisor was Dr. Nancy Chang,
16 who was and is the President of Tanox Biosystems,
17 spinoff corporation of the Baylor College of Medicine.
18 Dr. Chang was also a member of the faculty of the
19 Department of Microbiology at Baylor College of
20 Medicine. How ironic that my spouse and son was
21 scheduled to be evaluated medically by the Baylor
22 College of Medicine. Coincidence? I think not.
1 The Chairman of Baylor College of Medicine
2 was Dr. Vernon Knight who oversaw this research
3 project at the Walls Unit, and is an expert in the
4 field of mycoplasmas. I know the memo I received from
5 Dr. Susan Mathers, Chief of the Public Health and
6 Environmental Hazards Officers for the Department of
7 Veterans Affairs titled the CDC Statement on
8 mycoplasmas and Gulf War Illness, March, 1997, CDC
9 Office of Communications MediaRelations.
10 Attempts to disspell any threat to the
11 general populus the CDC stated to me that they did not
12 conduct any research projects, and that I should
13 contact the Department of Defense concerning this
14 matter, to call Mr. Jim Turner. The same doctor, Dr.
15 Shi-Ching Lo, who participated in the Walls Unit
16 Project is currently working to determine whether or
17 not Gulf War veterans have been exposed to infectious
19 This is like asking the fox who ate the
20 chicken, or asking the suspect to investigate the
22 In reference to the memorandum I must
1 point out there's no mention of the mycoplasma
2 fermentans incognitus being tested, also not probable
3 that the Department of Defense would only check for
4 common mycoplasmas which infect the human body.
5 My outspokenness on this very disturbing
6 issue of communicability of illnesses from Gulf War
7 veterans to family members, friends and medical
8 professionals has lead to many veterans and public to
9 believe as I do, that these hearings have been nothing
10 more than smoking mirrows by the Presidential Advisory
11 Committee, and that the sole purpose of these hearings
12 are intended to deceive the general public into
13 believing that you are truly trying to find a cause or
14 causes of our illnesses.
15 The governmental doctrine of no
16 communicability and no exposure to biological warfare
17 agents during Operation Desert Shield and Storm is
18 faulty since no real time detectors were available and
19 that since there were no immediate casualities no
20 agents were deployed.
21 I must state emphatically that the
22 Department of Defense is not about to disclose any
1 material concerning operations or scientific material
2 that would implicate them in a cover-up.
3 The governmental response of our forces
4 being exposed to biological agents is exactly the same
5 as the chemicals, no use, no poor deployment and no
6 exposure. Since I have been tested by two independent
7 expert laboratories and have been positive both times
8 for this uncommon organism I believe that germ warfare
9 occurred since I became ill following exposure to
10 several SCUD explosions and was required to seek
11 medical treatment for those symptoms.
12 Since the Presidential Advisory Committee
13 has been made aware of this issue of communicability
14 by Dr. Garth Nicolson I believe this panel has been
15 derelict in its duties to the President, this nation
16 and especially to the sick Gulf War veterans.
17 Due to the conflict of interest by the
18 Department of Defense and the Armed Forces Institute
19 of Pathology the Presidential Advisory Committee's
20 dependency upon the Department of Defense concerning
21 biological warfare exposure has inevitably produced
22 flawed results, the PAC Final Report page 38,
1 Biological Warfare Exposures.
2 One thing is certainly true some Gulf War
3 veterans and their family members have been exposed to
4 this mycoplasma infection and deserve treatment. The
5 Presidential Advisory Committee has shown complete
6 indifference to the suffering of the veterans by
7 blaming their illnesses upon stress instead of
8 identifying an underlying medical condition.
9 In the government's haste to disspell any
10 responsibility for our ill health they have victimized
11 the Gulf War veterans by insinuating that we were too
12 weak mentally to endure 101 hours of combat. To the
13 Committee I must state that in my case I saw no combat
14 or experienced any more stress than I usually did
15 while serving in the 82nd Airborne, 101st and the 2nd
16 Infantry Division.
17 I am sure some combat veterans may be
18 experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress
19 disorder. Most of my comrades did not see combat, and
20 did not experience any more stress than I did.
21 I've enclosed documentation concerning the
22 special Virus Cancer Program, another research project
1 that was conducted from 1964 through 1971. After
2 thoroughly reading the materials and documentation
3 presented by Dr. Leonard Horowitz one is left
4 wondering just how much influence our government has
5 over institutions of higher education, medical
6 institutions, and this Presidential Advisory
7 Committee, due to your inability to acknowledge the
8 Germ Warfare may have occurred since a substantial
9 number of veterans and family members are exhibiting
10 symptoms of biological exposure.
11 There was great disappointment by Gulf War
12 veterans concerning this Committee's previous stance
13 on stress as the root cause for Gulf War veterans
14 mental and physical problems. I understand how easy
15 it would be to blame our problems on stress, however,
16 stress would not explain why my family is sick.
17 I have clearly shown by my testimony and
18 enclosures that the issue of communicability of some
19 Gulf War veterans to their families, friends and
20 medical professionals cannot be disputed. What is
21 required now is the medical establishments that some
22 Gulf War veterans illnesses are identical to already
1 recognized illnesses such as chronic fatigue, immune
2 dysfunction syndrome and fibromyalgia.
3 And that an underlying mycoplasma
4 infection may be the root cause of our problems, as
5 well as the general population's CFIDS epidemic.
6 I thank the panel for this opportunity to
7 express my opinions and concerns about this panel's
8 past performance, and future recommendations to the
9 President concerning diagnosis and treatment of
10 infected Gulf War veterans, families, friends and
11 medical professionals who have contracted the uncommon
12 mycoplasma infection.
13 Thank you.
14 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Thank you. We just
15 have a couple of minutes left for questions.
16 Let me ask you a couple myself. Have you
17 been treated for mycoplasma?
18 MR. WOLF: I'm currently under antibiotic
19 treatments along with my wife.
20 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: What impact has that
21 treatment had?
22 MR. WOLF: I've had Hirschheimer's
1 Syndrome. Are you aware --
2 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Yes.
3 MR. WOLF: Okay. I've had that several
4 times since I take six weeks cycles at a time. There
5 is some improvement since the damage has already
6 occurred to parts of my body that hasn't made me
7 recover from the damage. But it has made me feel a
8 little better than I did. I still have periods of
9 time that if I don't take my medication I fly off the
11 The mental problems and the physical I
12 believe all are inter-related from biological exposure
13 as I've read in several articles that they're
14 identical to emotional stress. And that's why I would
15 say it would be easy for you to blame stress on our
16 condition even though biologicals would be a primary
17 concern of mine.
18 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: One other question if
19 I may. In the other testimony you submitted to a book
20 you talked about the Immuno Sciences Laboratory of
21 Beverly Hills, California as the laboratory that did
22 the test.
1 MR. WOLF: Yes.
2 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Can you tell me do
3 you know anything about that laboratory in terms of
4 when it was set up and what auspices it's under and
5 what other tests it does?
6 MR. WOLF: Well, I know they're a
7 commercial laboratory. I know that they are doing
8 forensic DNA CPR, and that's how they determined that
9 I had it. Also when I called the Armed Forces
10 Institute of Pathology because I went to the VA Center
11 and they gave me Tetracycline and it did nothing for
12 my body. And you know after you've taken it. And I
13 also took generic, Doxycycline, and you can't take
14 generic Doxycycline and it won't work against the
16 So he told me, Douglas Ware, that I had to
17 get on Cipro which is the best thing they can offer at
18 this time. It won't eradicate it but at least it is
19 some treatment, and it is better than it was. That's
20 one of the reasons why I have been so outspoken is
21 because I see it spreading. My own physician who
22 treats Gulf War veterans has tested positive, his wife
1 has tested positive.
2 Harry Wren which is also in the documented
3 paperwork he is a service officer for Gulf War
4 veterans and Vietnam veterans, and he is positive for
5 it, and also has been diagnosed with C-Vets. One of
6 the things I do know.
7 One of the things I do know that 62
8 percent of all the people that have chronic fatigue
9 syndrome that has been tested at Immuno Sciences also
10 has mycoplasma incognitus infections. And 70 percent
11 of the ones that Dr. Shi-Ching Lo has tested on AIDS
12 has -- 70 percent of them have the mycoplasma
13 infection. So I'm seeing a link between Gulf War
14 Illness, chronic fatigue syndrome and AIDS, and maybe
15 the underlining factor is the mycroplasma fermentans
16 incognitus strain.
17 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Thank you. Any
18 questions? Marguerite?
19 MS. KNOX: Yeah. I have a few questions.
20 I have a few comments as well, Mr. Wolf. I am, you
21 know, it concerns me and quite frankly it makes me
22 very angry that veterans like yourself who express
1 this opinion that you think that the Committee has
2 been derelict in its duty to the President and the
3 nation, and especially to seek war veterans really
4 concerns me.
5 I don't think there's anybody here on this
6 panel who doesn't know that veterans are ill.
7 MR. WOLF: Well, I --
8 MS. KNOX: As a veteran myself and Tom as
9 well, who served in the Gulf War with you, I think we
10 have done a very successful job in bringing out some
11 of the discrepancies with DOD. This letter implies
12 that we are sleeping with DOD essentially, and we're
13 not. We have been very critical of DOD, which has
14 been a very difficult thing. Still being a part of
15 DOD myself being an active member.
16 The thing with mycoplasma incognitus, Dr.
17 Garth Nicolson has had every opportunity to show to
18 his peers in the medical society his research. And
19 from my conclusion it has been faulty because his
20 peers have not reviewed his research on that
21 mycoplasma as being complete. So --
22 MR. WOLF: There's reasons for that.
1 MS. KNOX: Well, I think he's had several
2 opportunities to apply for grants that were not funded
3 that were not approved of. And so, you know, I'm not
4 a physician, I'm not a researcher, I am a nurse
5 practitioner but I'm also a veteran. So I challenge
6 other physicians, other scientists to speak up about
7 what you know about this mycoplasma and why it hasn't
8 been approved.
9 MR. WOLF: Well, since you brought up the
10 issue of you being a veteran then I'm going to bring
11 up an issue.
12 MS. KNOX: Alright.
13 MR. WOLF: Hillary Clinton sat on the
14 board of a large corporation, a co-conspirator with
15 (inaudible word) Metal, shipping arms to Iraq while we
16 went to war and we built up. Right now it's in the
17 Office of Foreign Assets. As an officer that's sworn
18 duty to the United States Constitution why would you
19 want to sit on a panel where you've got the First Lady
20 as a treasonist person.
21 And right now it's setting there in the
22 Office of Foreign Assets wasting time because Janet
1 Reno and the Justice Department will not take on the
3 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: I'm sorry, this is so
4 tangential to what this Committee is dealing with that
5 I think I have to ask you to limit your testimony to
6 the issues around Gulf War veterans on this. We can't
7 be involved --
8 MR. WOLF: Well, this is an issue because
9 we don't know what she shipped.
10 MS. LARSON: Could I just ask a question?
11 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Yes, please.
12 MS. LARSON: You said that the prevalence
13 of mycoplasma in certain populations is 60 percent.
14 MR. WOLF: Sixty-two.
15 MS. LARSON: Yeah. What's the prevalence
16 in those who aren't ill? I mean there are a lot of
17 organisms that grow in all of us. There's some things
18 that we all carry all our lives. Do you know the
19 prevalence in healthy folks?
20 MR. WOLF: Of mycoplasma fermentans?
21 MS. LARSON: Right. Has it been studied?
22 MR. WOLF: Dr. Shi-Ching Lo's looked at
1 the AIDS population for Chicago, Illinois, and found
2 out that it wasn't even prevalent there.
3 MS. LARSON: Okay. My question is do we
4 know if it's present in healthy people without
6 MR. WOLF: It could be in the (inaudible
8 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Jim?
9 MR. TURNER: Mr. Wolf, you made an
10 allegation about a connection between mycoplasma and
11 a program MKULTRA. What's the basis of that?
12 MR. WOLF: Well, MKULTRA was an LSD.
13 MR. TURNER: Yeah, I know what it was.
14 Why do you say there's a connection?
15 MR. WOLF: But I didn't say -- there's a
16 different operation called Daylily.
17 MR. TURNER: What is your basis for
18 believing there's some connection between that program
19 and mycoplasma?
20 MR. WOLF: Because that's where it was
22 MR. TURNER: The same place, same
2 MR. WOLF: Tanox Biosystems under the
3 auspices of Dr. Shi-Ching Lo and his supervisor, Dr.
5 MR. TURNER: What evidence do you have to
6 support that allegation, sir?
7 MR. WOLF: I think the ones who need to be
8 doing the investigating is this panel. You're the
9 Presidential Advisory Committee.
10 MR. TURNER: I'm asking you if you have
11 evidence. Do you have any evidence to support that
13 MR. WOLF: I'm sure I can get it for you.
14 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Well, we'd appreciate
15 it, you know, if you're going to make statements that
16 such connections exist we'd like to know the basis on
17 which you made it. And if you'll submit that to the
18 panel we'll take a look at it too.
19 MR. WOLF: The panel's been submitted the
20 information by Sally Medley and a lot of other people
21 too, and the panel hasn't done anything except say
22 that it couldn't be found in the vaccines, and we have
1 totally disregarded it because Dr. Nicolson will not
2 work with the CDC.
3 Well, knowing what I do know about what
4 has been going on since 1964 with their reports of how
5 they were into special cancer and virus programs and
6 using animals, taking (inaudible word) and sticking
7 them into humans. It doesn't surprise me a bit that
8 we've got problems now with the merging viruses.
9 And to me this is just another one of
10 those little experiments that went wrong.
11 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Any other questions?
12 (No response.)
13 Thank you very much.
14 MR. WOLF: Thank you.
15 (Witness excused.)
16 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Michael Hood.
17 MR. HOOD: I'm Michael Hood from Wichita
18 Falls, Texas, and I am one of the Gulf War vets who
19 went to Saudi in 1988, then returned in 1993. So
20 during that period I was -- during the Gulf War I was
21 in Korea, so I was a little detained. I had
1 So during that period they said I couldn't
2 go because of work status. So while I was out
3 processing during the '93 period to go to McChord,
4 Washington, I had to stop all processing to for my
5 duty section. Dave Charles and I got orders to go --
6 immediately go to Saudi Arabia.
7 Dave got a eight day notice, I got orders
8 the 25th of January and I shipped out the 3rd of
9 February, '93. And upon arriving in Riyadh I was
10 waiting on my baggage and I didn't record the time I
11 got to Riyadh except for travel purposes.
12 And while I was waiting on my baggage my
13 spine started burning. And now in that same area I
14 have a degenerative L-5 S-1, and I was pretty healthy
15 when I went to Saudi. I just had taken, had passed
16 all my flight physicals, everything the Air Force
17 asked me to do I had passed with flying colors.
18 And inside the medical documents I
19 provided for you a complete medical history and some
20 of the other comments I had pertaining to DOD,
21 Department of Air Force and the Veterans
22 Administration. Like probably one, you know, I'm very
1 disgruntled with the Department of Air Force because
2 I was supposed to had followed up when I got back to
4 Colonel Adams told me I wasn't sick, he
5 didn't want to see my medical reports, sent me home.
6 And during that period my body just deteriorated. So
7 when I became ill working with some household
8 chemicals my body just collapsed. And I was separated
9 from my wife at the time and things got a little out
10 of hand, and the Air Force decided to ship me off to
11 Wilford Hall to stay in the mental health unit.
12 They didn't give me any medication for
13 mental health, they just gave me Tylenol and watched
14 me deteriorate. And after I got out of the hospital
15 I made subsequent returns back to Wilford Hall and my
16 medical board came up in September of '93, but the odd
17 thing about it nobody told me about any sick Persian
18 Gulf veterans and nobody told me, you know, didn't
19 brief me on anything.
20 The first time I talked to Dr. Roswell was
21 February 1st up in Oklahoma City, he asked me some
22 questions did you take botulism, I said no. CV, no.
1 Amthrax, no. Malaria, no. The only thing I had when
2 I went back to Saudi was a gamma globulin. And I was
3 told my uniforms, my chemical warfare gear, everything
4 will be given to me in Saudi.
5 For the 90 day period I was in Saudi in
6 '93 we lived next to active chemical waste facility.
7 I just vaguely remember the site being sprayed with,
8 you know, this chemical because some of the sand was,
9 you know, had this oily residue. Nobody told us about
10 eating food downtown, nobody told us anything. I
11 didn't even know what a sand fly was til one of my
12 co-workers gave me one of the articles -- the little
13 Army Medical Times, you know -- I'm still sitting in
14 the dark of what really happened in '91.
15 But as I look back most of my co-workers
16 I supervised, one came back to Shaw Air Force Base, he
17 fell apart, you know, big guy. They said when they
18 saw him he looked like skin and bones. The other
19 Airman had a rash on the left side of his body. Other
20 personnel came home with rashes, bone deterioration,
21 you know, just a list of categories, you know. Just
22 some of the people just walked out of the Air Force,
1 they just took the bonus and said bye.
2 Because most of the people, you know, you
3 never even got to talk to. You know, I met folks, you
4 know, like Carol Bacou, Joyce Riley, you know,
5 different people I come in contact with. And it's
6 just amazing, you know, some of the things that, you
7 know, happened to us in a short period of time.
8 And I have met people who was coming back
9 from Riyadh in '94 healthy, falling apart, out of the
10 Service. '95, same story. '96, same story. The
11 chemical waste facility east of Eskan Village is still
12 active. The chemical waste dump at Al Carge still
13 active. Now you're getting ready to move personnel
14 from Dahran and Riyadh to Al Carge, most of them
15 people coming back from Al Carge got, you know, a list
16 of things that you can't even, you know, can't even
18 You know, where does it stop? You know,
19 the stress issue, the only time I really got stressed
20 out was when I started coughing up blood in Saudi when
21 my legs stopped working. Most of my lower extremeties
22 didn't even work. When I was put on quarters for a
1 week and a half in April I didn't even have one doctor
2 to see me. I had to, you know, get up and practically
3 take my ownself back to the clinic to check out on my
4 return trip back to the states.
5 So most of it's pretty, you know, the
6 documents kind of spell out the history itself.
7 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay. Thank you.
8 Are there questions for Mr. Hood?
9 MR. KOWALOK: Mr. Hood, do you have any
10 sense of what it was that you might have been exposed
11 to in Riyadh when you noticed that your spine began to
13 MR. HOOD: The only thing I can remember
14 is just -- it was just a sandy night when I got there.
15 In 1988, which is so ironic, one of the northern
16 sandstorms I had a severe burning sensation in my nose
17 and after I got to Riyadh before my lower extremeties,
18 you know, started malfunctioning I had the same
19 sensation again in Riyadh.
20 MR. KOWALOK: In '93?
21 MR. HOOD: '93.
22 MR. KOWALOK: Okay.
1 MR. HOOD: So nobody, you know, has told
2 us that Saddam, you know, even during the '88 campaign
3 nobody even told us that, you know, we didn't even get
4 a health warning that Saddam was using chemicals and,
5 you know, no telling what else he was using. And when
6 we went back we didn't even have a health briefing.
7 MR. KOWALOK: And then your major concern
8 when you were in Riyadh in '93 was the chemical
9 facility east of where you were located?
10 MR. HOOD: Right.
11 MR. KOWALOK: In Riyadh?
12 MR. HOOD: Yeah, then after one of the
13 Airman returned who was there in the '91 campaign, he
14 was there during the SCUD attacks and he kind of
15 briefed me that the area of the (inaudible word) Saudi
16 headquarters where we worked at a SCUD fell right on
17 top of them while they were in the bunker.
18 And after it started raining during that
19 period when we were there we don't know what we walked
20 through. Even at Eskan or even downtown, because all
21 of a sudden, you know, what he was telling us, you
22 know, it was all starting over again.
1 Sgt. Sheridan started -- before I got sick
2 he had internal bleeding and they had to carry him out
3 from work. His lower extremeties didn't even work,
4 they had to carry him out of the headquarters. And we
5 don't know how many people were starting to pile up in
6 the clinic. I just knew we were just showing up with,
7 you know, some people complained of botulism, and I
8 couldn't even digest my food.
9 And the next day I know I had internal
10 bleeding from the upper and lower extremeties.
11 MR. KOWALOK: Thank you.
12 MR. CASSELLS: What is your current
14 MR. HOOD: I'm 100 percent disabled.
15 MR. CASSELLS: Retired from the Air Force,
16 medically retired?
17 MR. HOOD: Medically retired.
18 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Any questions?
19 MR. CROSS: What would you like to see
20 this Committee do for you and for other veterans?
21 MR. HOOD: Well, since the work has
22 already been started everybody, you know, needs to
1 pitch in because the great debate was, you know, about
2 this mycoplasm, you know, did Saddam have biological
3 weapons, did he have chemical weapons. You know, now
4 we're starting to find out the Russians had shipped
5 some things we're not even talking about, you know,
6 other toxins.
7 So, you know, if we can put the whole
8 puzzle together maybe we can have an idea because, you
9 know, people are still going to Saudi, Arabia and
10 getting sick. Because I just met an Air Force
11 Sergeant a couple of weeks ago at the base library
12 down in (inaudible word), she couldn't even hold her
13 head up. You know, she has the classic symptoms of
14 neurological, you know, neuromuscular symptoms. And
15 she was just trying to type and she couldn't even hold
16 her head up.
17 And I said did you go to Saudi, Arabia,
18 and she said yes. And I asked when, she said 1996.
19 Also Dexter Smith, they're going to name a gym after
20 him at Shepherd, he was in Riyadh during the SCUD
21 attacks in '91, he died after he left work sitting on
22 the side of the road. And we don't know why all the
1 guys at Shepherd, you know, are coming back sick.
2 Most of the guys at Shepherd, Tinker, I
3 just met a couple at Little Rock. One lady just going
4 through some medical testing told her, oh, don't worry
5 about it. You know, when, you know, we start -- you
6 know, the body count start rising again then, you
7 know, somebody will take notice.
8 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Thank you very much.
9 We have to move on.
10 Staff Sergeant Paul Lyons.
11 SERGEANT LYONS: Good morning, and welcome
12 to the State of Tennessee. My name is Staff Sergeant
13 Paul Lyons on active duty. I'm being medically
14 processed out of the military for the most part due to
15 deteriorating health problems that have surfaced since
16 my return from the Gulf War.
17 I'd like to thank you all for making these
18 cross country meetings that's very similar to Dr.
19 Rostker's, because I think it builds good-will and
20 support for the public to see that the government's
21 trying to do something for the Gulf War veteran and
22 their family members.
1 I've got some prepared text here, so I'm
2 going to briefly go over it because I know that my
3 time is limited.
4 Dear Committee members, thank you for the
5 opportunity to once again address your panel. Now the
6 reason I'm stating this is because I've addressed your
7 panel back in San Antonio last February where I gave
8 you proof of -- if I'm correct it was chemical and
9 biological munitions as well as the Paul Wallner
10 memorandum from the Department of Defense.
11 I'm thanking you for your continued
12 interest in pursuing the cause and effect of poor
13 health among Gulf War veterans and their family
14 members. The following comments I'm about to make are
15 my own and should not in any way be misconstrued to
16 represent the official policy of the Department of
17 Defense or the Department of The Army.
18 The last time I addressed this Committee
19 was on February of '96 in San Antonio, Texas, I
20 recommended to you that the Department of Defense
21 needed to continue in its efforts to progressively
22 pursue training for active duty. Training for active
1 duty, Gulf War veterans, for the most part this is not
2 developed. Even today I am constantly approached and
3 have knowledge of active duty soldiers who, for one
4 reason or another, continue to deny themselves the
5 treatment that they so justly deserve for fear of
6 negative reprisals against them or their careers.
7 There needs to be some type of memorandum
8 that comes out that reassures these people if they're
9 sick they're going to be taken care of. And to me
10 once you've lost your health you don't have any career
11 anyway, so I don't know what their problem is. But
12 there's still that stigma -- I run a support group
13 here for the State of Tennessee known as the Persian
14 Gulf Information Network. We're based in Clarksville.
15 And I have a lot of soldiers who wait
16 until they get over their 20 year mark before they
17 even come to see me, and then they come to see me.
18 Now I see a big trend developing there. There's a lot
19 of retirees who are now coming out of the closet
20 so-to-speak who are sick.
21 And they fear for their career while
22 they're still on active duty because they're worried
1 about getting put out and probably not getting the
2 benefits they deserve. I would like to see this issue
3 addressed more actively if it could be. Your
4 Committee is gathered here in Memphis today to debate
5 the effects of chemical warfare agent exposures. For
6 this I applaud your efforts.
7 I also once again come before this
8 Committee with clear evidence that chemical weapons
9 were not only detected but confirmed on the battle
10 field during the Persian Gulf War. I present before
11 this Committee official Department of The Army forms
12 such as the DA 1594, which is officially used to
13 record daily incidents for our units historical
14 records as well as for record keeping purposes.
15 All forms that I will be presenting to
16 this panel are factual and can be backed up and they
17 were obtained by utilizing the Freedom Of Information
18 Act. The first document that I present is a DA Form
19 1594 dated February 27th, 1991. This was filled out
20 from the 18th Airborne Corps.
21 Item 14 lists, and I quote, "Subject has
22 captured chemical and biological munitions." So not
1 only are chemical weapons listed as being captured but
2 we have a mention here, official mention in the logs
3 of biological munitions that were captured as well.
4 That needs to be addressed.
5 The second set of documents that I wish to
6 present is a 18th Airborne Corps Handbook dated
7 February 20th, 1991. This self described Handbook
8 lists methods which are to be used to destroy chemical
9 weapons once they are came upon. It doesn't say if
10 they're came upon, but when.
11 The third set of documents that I present
12 is portions of an unclassified Operations Plan No.
13 90-5 from the 101st Airborne Division with whom I
14 served during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
15 This is dated January 15th, 1991.
16 On page two of this document it is
17 mentioned in Section C under Chemical -- the Chemical
18 Subsection, and then I will quote, "That during Phase
19 3 the Division may face another (the Division they're
20 referring to is 101st here) from damaged/destroyed
21 stock piles of chemical munitions at the Tallil
1 According to this OP Plan our Intelligence
2 knew of chemicals as early as January, 1991, in the
3 theatre of operations.
4 Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes my
5 testimony on chemical exposures that occurred in the
6 Gulf. I would like to cover the articles if anyone
7 has any questions. I realize I had a limited set to
8 pass out, but if anyone would like for me to kind of
9 help you finger walk down to where the documents state
10 what I've quoted I'll be more than glad to do that for
11 the Committee members who do have copies if anyone
12 questions what I've said.
13 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Thank you very much.
14 Are there questions? Tom?
15 MR. CROSS: Staff Sgt., you did speak
16 about a lot of veterans who are waiting til the end of
17 their career to come out. And we actually addressed
18 that issue a long time ago.
19 SERGEANT LYONS: I know, sir, and --
20 MR. CROSS: But I'm just -- the point is,
21 you know, you're still on active duty and I'm shocked
22 to see that still that is what the case. You've seen
1 a lot of that, and why are they telling you why they
3 SERGEANT LYONS: Well, I'm waiting for
4 some final -- a lot of it's, to me, red tape, sir. I
5 don't really, I can't really give you an honest
6 answer. I'm waiting for the paperwork to be correct
7 where I can agree with it to where it can go on to the
8 Medical Board.
9 It has to do with my post-traumatic stress
10 disorder which they left out of my medical dictation,
11 and I insisted it get put in there. And I've had a
12 doctor tell me he was and he got out of the military
13 and never did, and I had another doctor who started on
14 it and he's not finished with it. That's what's
15 holding my board up itself.
16 But I didn't come here to talk about my
17 Board. I came to talk about the other Gulf War
18 veterans who need help. We do have a large incident
19 of sick Gulf War veterans at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
20 I'm just outside of there at Clarksville, Tennessee,
21 it's right over the Kentucky/Tennessee border. And we
22 do have a very high incidents of veterans who for one
1 reason or another are very reluctant to come forward.
2 And I'll see them every day and they'll
3 tell me hey, Sgt. Lyons -- because they know I run the
4 support group for the state -- they'll tell me that
5 they're sick. And I'll ask them why don't they get on
6 the registry and they keep going on to me that this
7 will be a death kill to their career.
8 And I would like for the Department of
9 Defense to maybe come out with a more current
10 memorandum that would reinforce the initial one that
11 came out, and make sure that this time it goes all the
12 way down to every soldier. The last one that came out
13 did not go down to every soldier, I know that for a
14 fact, because I didn't receive it until I got involved
15 into the Persian Gulf War issue. Even though it was
16 addressed to all soldiers it didn't make it down the
18 A memorandum from the Department of
19 Defense does need to make it down the chain to every
20 soldier who's sick, and reassure them if they are sick
21 that they will be taken care of, and that their family
22 members who are sick will also be taken care of.
1 That's the main issue here.
2 I'd go back to war in a minute for my
3 country. All I'm asking is for my country to take
4 care of us.
5 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay. Thank you.
6 MR. KOWALOK: Sgt. Lyons, your proposal
7 about the memo that --
8 SERGEANT LYONS: A more current one, yes,
9 sir. This has been several years since the last one
10 even came out. You've still got Gulf War veterans on
11 active duty. They're holding on.
12 MR. KOWALOK: Right. And you were
13 suggesting it might be nice to have a memo come out to
14 tell them okay, if you're sick not to worry about a
16 SERGEANT LYONS: Well, if you've lost your
17 health you've lost your career anyway. All these
18 people are just living a big lie, they're living in
19 denial as to what's going on with their body, mentally
20 or whatever. I see it every day.
21 MR. KOWALOK: What did you have in mind as
22 far as that memo and where it would come from?
1 SERGEANT LYONS: Well, I just think it
2 needs to come from DOD, and I've talked to previously
3 with Dr. Rostker.
4 MR. KOWALOK: Well, how would it be
5 distributed --
6 SERGEANT LYONS: It needs to be addressed
7 to all soldiers and needs to make it filter down to
8 the very bottom of the chain of command, or to all
9 Gulf War Veterans if you want to be more specific.
10 But it does need to be addressed.
11 Once again it's been several years since
12 a memorandum of that sort has come out. I think it
13 was like about, I don't know, good three or four years
14 ago. And, you know, with the Presidential Advisory
15 Committee and you've got Dr. Rostker's team looking at
16 this issue and Senate Committees and House Committees,
17 I think this needs to be more actively pursued for the
18 -- I'm speaking from the active duty side of the house
19 because I am still active duty.
20 And I still see soldiers in denial who are
21 dragging through their career, and maybe someone's
22 trying to help them through their career to get to
1 their 20 year mark. But I'm telling you there's other
2 soldiers who they live in denial and they finally get
3 put out and they could have sought help sooner. But
4 for one reason or another they just don't want to or
5 they're worried about their career, they're worried
6 about their family, they're worried about where their
7 next check is going to come from.
8 And I see this all the day. Every day I
9 get approached that I could go to work myself that is.
10 MR. KOWALOK: Thank you.
11 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay.
12 MR. TURNER: The last time you appeared
13 before the Committee you provided us with some
14 information and documentation about 101st Airborne
15 chemical detections. Has anyone from the Department
16 of Defense interviewed you or talked to you about that
17 information, sir?
18 SERGEANT LYONS: Well, I have had an
19 investigative team from Dr. Rostker's investigative
20 research bureau I guess you'd call it, Persian Gulf
21 War Illnesses, fly down and visit with me and get a
22 lot of documents.
1 MR. TURNER: On the 101st Airborne
3 SERGEANT LYONS: Well, I've got documents
4 on more than just the 101st.
5 MR. TURNER: I understand.
6 SERGEANT LYONS: I cannot recall, I would
7 think that I probably gave you about everything. Is
8 that correct, Dr. Rostker? There have been very -- as
9 far as I'm concerned they've been very interested and
10 very cooperative in trying to find out what's going
12 And I'll tell you this, and I'm speaking
13 just for me but anything I've ever presented to this
14 Committee, sent this Committee or told this Committee
15 if I don't back it up with facts I don't say it.
16 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Thank you.
17 SERGEANT LYONS: Yes, ma'am.
18 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Thank you very much.
19 (The witness was excused.)
20 James Kachel? Is Mr. James Kachel here?
21 (No response.)
22 Well, if Mr. Kachel comes in later we'll
1 try to fit him in. That then completes the testimony
2 from the public and we'll go to the next item on our
3 agenda. And I'll ask Dr. Denise Koo and Major Sheila
4 Kinty to come forward to discuss the Pre- and
5 Post-Deployment Epidemiology of U.S. troops.
6 As you know the Committee remembers that
7 in our Final Report we recommend that there be Pre-
8 and Post-Deployment Epidemiology Program developed.
9 And let me ask Dr. Cassells to comment first and then
10 we'll ask Dr. Koo.
11 MR. CASSELLS: As Dr. Lashof just said the
12 Committee in its Final Report made recommendations
13 about pre-and post-deployment screening, and any
14 future deployments. And part of our charge for the
15 extension of this Committee's effort was to oversee
16 the implementation of the various recommendations that
17 had been made by this and other Committees who've
18 looked at this issue.
19 Today we want to look at what has happened
20 as far as implementing the pre- and post-deployment
21 questionnaire aspect of this and set it in the proper
1 We've invited Dr. Denise Koo from Centers
2 for Disease Control to give us a brief overview of
3 public health monitoring and surveillance, how it's
4 done, some examples, what it is meant to achieve. And
5 then Major Sheila Kinty will tell us about the DOD's
6 plan pre- and post-deployment questionnaire
8 Dr. Koo?
9 DR. KOO: Good morning. I'm currently the
10 Acting Director of the Division of Public Health
11 Surveillance and Infermatics in the Epidemiology
12 Program Office, EPO, at the Centers for Disease
13 Control and Prevention.
14 EPO is a multi disciplinary support office
15 to other parts of CDC, and my Division has
16 responsibility for the National Notifiable Disease
17 Surveillance System or NNDSS. Each week we receive
18 reports of Notifiable Diseases from the 50 states, two
19 cities and territories, and publish them in CDC's
20 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the MMWR, as
21 well as in the Annual Summary of Notifiable Diseases,
22 United States.
1 In our role as coordinator of these data
2 we work closely with many other programs at CDC with
3 disease specific responsibility, as well as with the
4 states on the quality policy collection and the
5 dissemination of these data.
6 I was asked to provide a brief overview of
7 the general principles of public health surveillance,
8 and will do so mainly by telling you its purpose and
9 how surveillance data are used, because the most
10 important aspect of surveillance is how the data are
11 used. I will then list several data sources that we
12 use for public health surveillance at the national
14 CDC has developed the following definition
15 for public health surveillance "The ongoing systematic
16 collection analysis interpretation of outcome specific
17 data essential to the planning, implementation and
18 evaluation of public health practice, closely
19 integrated with the timely dissemination of these data
20 to those responsible for prevention and control."
21 Admittedly this is a pretty long winded
22 sentence. I'm going to break it down into parts. The
1 key principle of surveillance is that it's systematic
2 and ongoing, it's not random, that is it's generally
3 meant to cover or to represent entire populations.
4 It's ongoing, that is it's not just a one time
5 occurence or a study.
6 Because surveillance is ongoing it often
7 must function in an environment of limited resources.
8 Simplicity and feasibility are important features of
9 any surveillance system, particularly a passive system
10 that relies on reporters or providers to initiating
12 The other key principles of surveillance
13 are collection analysis, we have to do something with
14 the data. Interpretation, dissemination, we have to
15 get the data out. Those of us in government who
16 analyze the data are often not going to be the same
17 people who can act on the information and the link to
18 public health practice.
19 Practice can change to the new
20 surveillance data. For example, surveillance on drug
21 resistance to a new recommendation for initial drug
22 treatment of tuberculosis.
1 What is the purpose of public health
2 surveillance? We do surveillance to assess public
3 health status to find public health priorities,
4 evaluate programs and stimulate research. It's really
5 an essential element of public health practice.
6 Next I'd like to point out and provide
7 examples of some of the traditional uses of
8 surveillance. Public health surveillance is
9 traditionally used to estimate the magnitude of a
10 public health problem to determine the geographic
11 distribution of an illness, to portray the natural
12 history of a disease, to detect epidemics or define a
13 problem, to generate hypothesis and stimulate
15 Surveillance data often generates question
16 for further pursuit by researchers, but surveillance
17 is not intended to service etiologic research.
18 Surveillance is also used to evaluate control
19 measures, to monitor changes in infectious agents, to
20 detect changes in health practices, and to facilitate
22 This slide of the trend of cases of infant
1 botulism from the NNDSS shows an example of how we use
2 surveillance to estimate the magnitude of the problem.
3 We understand that this may be an under estimate but
4 at least we can estimate the burden of disease and
5 follow trends.
6 This map of hepatitus incidents in the
7 U.S. shows the geographic distribution of reported
8 illness, in this case Hepatitus A.
9 Surveillance can also portray the natural
10 history of the disease. This slide shows the
11 seasonality of chicken pox cases. It can also be used
12 to detect epidemics. This slide shows the incidents
13 of salmonella over time with a peak in 1985, due to an
14 outbreak caused by contaminated pasturized milk.
15 These data on Lyme Disease are an example
16 of how we can use surveillance to generate hypothesis
17 and stimulate research. If we had such data and
18 didn't know what was the cause of this illness it
19 might give us ideas or hypothesis to test.
20 Surveillance can help evaluate the
21 effectiveness of control measures. These data show
22 the effect of vaccine licensure on the control of
1 polio. Surveillance can be used to monitor changes in
2 infectious agents. Here we see trends in antibiotic
3 resistance among the Neisseria gonorrhea bacteria.
4 Surveillance can be very useful in
5 detecting changes in health practices. This slide
6 shows the increase of C-Sections as a proportion of
7 all deliveries.
8 And finally surveillance is important for
9 facilitating planning. Surveillance data showing up
10 turn in the number of cases of tuberculosis lead to an
11 increase emphasis on and resources for TB control, and
12 a subsequent down turn in reported incidents.
13 The key is that surveillance should
14 provide information for action. It shouldn't be just
15 collected and set on a shelf. This is a surveillance
16 loop, because of course, most often the use of the
17 data occurs at the local level, the local or State
18 Health Departments. It's essential that information
19 gathered through public health surveillance get to
20 those who provided the data, or who can use it.
21 At last count there were over 100
22 surveillance systems at CDC alone, so I won't attempt
1 to catalog them all here. I'll just provide some
2 broad strokes and list general categories of
3 surveillance data sources. There are a number of
4 sources of surveillance data, and I'll go through
5 several sources and briefly explain what they are and
6 give example for diseases for which such information
7 are available.
8 One source of data is our National
9 Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System. Although it
10 is a national system jurisdiction for Notifiable
11 Diseases remain with the states, as does public health
12 since it is not specifically mentioned in the U. S.
14 The CSTE, the Council of State and
15 Territorial Epidemiologist with CDC's collaborative
16 input determines what is a Nationally Notifiable
17 Diseases and sets the Nationally Notifiable Diseases
18 list usually once a year at the annual CSTE meeting in
20 Reporting on Nationally Notifiable
21 Diseases to CDC by the state is entirely voluntary.
22 Reporting is mandated only at the state level, and a
1 list of Notifiable Diseases varies by states. The
2 list of diseases vary because each state differs from
3 which diseases are notifiable and how they are made
5 Some mandata reporting legislatively, some
6 are simply declared notifiable by the state health
7 official. Health care providers and laboratories
8 report to the local health department, usually at
9 county level. The county health department then passes
10 the information on usually paper copy to the state
11 health department. Sometimes those reports come
12 directly to the state health department.
13 The state health departments then
14 voluntarily transmit the numbers on mostly a weekly
15 basis to CDC, primarily through the National
16 Electronic Telecommunication System for surveillance
17 or nets. The key is that this is voluntary. These
18 are the state's data and we, the CDC, are only acting
19 as their agent. As I mentioned we publish these data
20 each week in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly
22 Some more examples of Notifiable Diseases,
1 here's mumps and botulism. For most diseases AIDS is
2 probably the exception. This is largely a passive
3 provider initiated system. Health departments have to
4 rely on health care providers to remember to report
5 cases of disease.
6 In active surveillance state or local
7 health departments play an active role in either
8 collecting the data or at least regularly reminding
9 providers to report disease. I'll describe some
10 examples of active surveillance which will provide
11 better quality data, it's also more time consuming and
12 resource intensive than passive surveillance.
13 Laboratory specimens are another source of
14 surveillance data. This slide shows NETSS salmonella
15 data, but there's also a system at CDC called PHLIS,
16 the Public Health Laboratory Information System, a
17 system based in state public health laboratories.
18 They receive isolates of salmonella and they serotype
19 them. The recent salmonella serotype enteritidis
20 outbreak to Swann's Ice Cream was recognized through
21 laboratory surveillance.
22 But it's not just infectious diseases for
1 which laboratory data are useful. Laboratory data
2 have also been used for lead surveillance as
3 laboratory analysis is the only way to measure lead
5 Another source of surveillance data are
6 vital records, that is birth and death certificates
7 for which recording is mandated. This source is more
8 useful for looking up some conditions than for others.
9 For example diseases that can clearly, easily and
10 clearly be ascertained as the cause of death such as
11 a violent injury or fatal heart attack are more
12 amenable to surveillance using vital records.
13 However, other conditions such as diseases
14 with long latency periods, for example diabetes may
15 not be appropriately tracked using vital records as
16 the condition may not be considered the cause of
18 The National Center for Health Statistics
19 located in Washington, D. C. but part of CDC collects
20 information on birth and death certificates. For
21 example the National Infant Mortality Surveillance is
22 based on data from both birth and death certificates.
1 Another source of public health
2 surveillance data is what is referred to as sentinel
3 surveillance. This involves monitoring of key health
4 events considered the tip of the iceberg, frequently
5 and specifically geographic areas or in populations.
6 This type of surveillance flags or serves as a warning
7 of a problem or it does not provide a complete
8 picture. Often these are active surveillance systems.
9 For example the hepatitis branch at CDC
10 does active surveillance and only four counties for
11 hepatitis by regularly reminding health care workers
12 with phone calls or post cards to report hepatitis for
13 more complete ascertainment of all cases in a small
14 area. This can also be considered a sort of a sentinel
15 for the country.
16 The National Center for Infectious
17 Diseases at CDC also finds merging infectious programs
18 in several states. With these extra resources the
19 states look for diseases that are new or are merging.
20 Hopefully from these we'll learn lessons that might be
21 applicable to the rest of the country.
22 Another example of the sentinel
1 surveillance system is the sentinel event notification
2 system for occupational risks or SENSOR run by the
3 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,
4 NIOSH. Conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and
5 pesticide poisoning are under surveillance as part of
7 This system which is in place and over a
8 dozen states actually involves follow-up at the work
9 site because these are considered sentinel health
10 events or flags for possibly unhealthy conditions at
11 the work place. The idea is to improve work
12 conditions and not just treat disease in that one
13 worker, but also to prevent and diagnose disease in
14 other workers.
15 Influenza, there are nearly 140 sentinel
16 physicians who report to total number of office visits
17 per week and the number of visits with influenza like
18 illness, the percent of influenza and like illness can
19 be estimated. Again this is the sentinel for the
21 Another source of surveillance data are
22 registeries. This is especially true for registeries
1 that follow individuals over time and use multiple
2 sources of information for a given individual. For
3 example many states have population base tumor
5 Monitoring programs can also be used as a
6 source of surveillance data. For example birth
7 defects monitoring programs are used to collect
8 surveillance data on the incidents and prevalence of
9 birth defects. Monitoring programs can be passive,
10 that is collect data, just your vital statistics and
11 hospital discharge data. A problem with this type
12 surveillance for collecting information on birth
13 defects is that many defects do not show up at birth.
14 Another type of birth defect monitoring
15 system is an active system where abstractors are sent
16 in to gather information from hospital logs and
17 medical records with follow-up through one year after
19 Surveys can also be used to collect
20 surveillance data, but these are not just any surveys
21 because as mentioned surveillance is the ongoing
22 collection of data. So surveys that are useful in
1 surveillance are usually those that are continual or
2 periodic ones so that we can observe changes over
3 time. And CHS conducts several such surveys.
4 Examples include the National Health
5 Interview Survey, which is a population base survey
6 that consists of an in-home interview lasting
7 approximately 80 minutes. The interviewers ask
8 questions about illness, chronic conditions, injury,
9 disability and risk factors for illness.
10 An example of a provider base survey is
11 the National Hospital Discharge Survey. A variety of
12 types of data can be obtained from the National
13 Hospital Discharge Survey. For example this is the
14 graph that we saw earlier showing the data on the
15 number of C-Sections performed.
16 Administrative data collections can also
17 be used as sources of surveillance data. Sometimes
18 and perhaps even more in the future if we use data
19 collected for other purposes, for example those
20 looking to billings such as Medicaid or Medicare. An
21 example of a condition for which we might obtain such
22 data could be heart attacks.
1 There are other data systems that do not
2 easily fit into the previous categories. For example
3 VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System is
4 a national system where physicians and consumers
5 report adverse vaccine reactions to the Food and Drug
7 Another example is a CDC service that
8 provides difficult to access medications to
9 physicians. Providers must call in to get these
10 medications. This can be useful for surveillance for
11 rare diseases and can provide valuable information for
12 new diseases. For example in early 1981 CDC received
13 three to four requests for (inaudible word) all from
14 Los Angeles, which was an unusually high number of
15 calls from one area.
16 When CDC looked into this and
17 investigators found that the patients were otherwise
18 healthy, gay young men with pneumocystis carinii
19 pneumonia. And, of course, they all had what came to
20 be known as AIDS.
21 This is a brief overview of public health
22 surveillance, the sources of data, the purposes and
1 the use of these data. Surveillance truly is a course
2 under the CDC practice and surveillance data provide
3 information essential for making public health
4 decisions and taking public health action.
5 Because as you can see from the
6 descriptions of the data sources that I've provided
7 there are many people involved in conducting
8 surveillance. Thus it's extremely important that a
9 surveillance system is clear case definitions. In
10 order for the data to be useful there needs to be as
11 much uniformity and comparabilities as possible across
12 the different reporting areas in terms of what is
13 counted as a case.
14 A good case definition is only one
15 (inaudible word) that is crucial to the planning or
16 evaluation of a surveillance system. The conduct or
17 planning of a surveillance system must balance the
18 desired outcomes and issues such as coverage of all
19 cases that is sensitivity, timeliness and
20 representativeness with the amount of resources
22 The weighing of these factors will depend
1 on the objectives of the system and the condition
2 under surveillance.
3 I'm happy to answer any questions you have
4 about this field of applied epidemiology. I actually
5 did bring just a few copies of CDC's guidelines for
6 evaluating surveillance systems, and a recent
7 publication and case definitions for infectious
8 conditions under public health surveillance, which is
9 also available from the CDC.
10 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Thank you very much,
11 Dr. Koo. I think we'd like to proceed to hear Major
12 Kinty describe the efforts that the government is now
13 making and then have questions to both of you after
14 the completion of Major Kinty's presentation. Major?
15 MAJOR KINTY: Good morning. I'd like to
16 take this opportunity to thank the Presidential
17 Advisory Committee for this opportunity to come and
18 talk to you about the Pre- and Post-Deployment House
19 Assessment Questionnaires that DOD has developed.
20 I'd like to start by providing a
21 definition of medical surveillance. It is the routine
22 systematic collection analysis interpretation and
1 reporting of standardized population base data for the
2 purposes of characterizing encountering medical
3 threats to a populations health, well-being and
5 There is a DOD directive that is currently
6 in draft form due out in August, and its title is
7 Joint Medical Surveillance. This directive specifies
8 policies for the standardization of medical
9 surveillance. A major component of the directive
10 calls for the health assessment pre/during/post
11 deployment. And the directive also calls for the
12 development of standardized instruments for data
14 DOD's initial use of developing a
15 standardized instrument was used in Operation Joint
16 Endeavor, now Operation Joint Guard, our Bosnia
18 Some lessons that we learned from the
19 Persian Gulf War I'm quoting here from the
20 Presidential Advisory Committee Report dated February,
21 1996, "...DOD had no standardized pre- and
22 post-deployment health screening policy and
2 There were some policies and procedures in
3 place but they weren't standardized across the
4 services. Also there was no quality control procedures
5 to ensure that there was compliance with the policies
6 that were in existence at that time.
7 And DOD's policies were not adequate to
8 prevent some members with pre-existing conditions from
9 being deployed. And some of those members had to be
10 returned home after they arrived in-theatre.
11 So in January of 1997 DOD convened a
12 Tri-Service working group. This working group was
13 composed of physicians, mental health professionals,
14 public health professionals and some personnel from
15 special operations. This group met for two days and
16 at the end of two days they came out with what they
17 agreed were the best questions to ask, pre- and
18 post-deployment, to determine a status of the members'
19 health at those point in time.
20 The pre-deployment questionnaire was
21 designed to be used to verify deployability, not to
22 establish deployability. And that's because the
1 establishment of deployability is an ongoing process,
2 and should be accomplished in conjunction with an
3 annual health risk assessment.
4 I'm going to take just a minute here to
5 tell you about the HEAR Program which is an automated
6 program that DOD is currently developing. HEAR stands
7 for Health Evaluation and Assessment Review, and it
8 will encompass an annual physical evaluation as well
9 as some standardized questionnaires. Additional
10 evaluations, physical exams will be determined -- the
11 need for those will be determined based upon the
12 results of the questions that the -- the answers to
13 the questions that the member supplies at the time of
14 this evaluation.
15 The questionnaires were designed to be
16 administered. The pre-deployment questionnaire is
17 designed to be administered prior to the individual
18 leaving their home duty station. Currently the
19 structure is not in place throughout all of DOD to
20 ensure that this is accomplished prior to leaving. So
21 we are administering the pre-questionnaire at a
22 central processing point when the member arrives
2 There are some placed bases throughout DOD
3 that are currently doing the questionnaire prior to
4 the member leaving the home station, but that is not
5 consistent throughout so we are administering it at a
6 point when they arrive in-theatre.
7 The post-deployment questionnaire is
8 assigned to be administered at a central location
9 in-theatre right before the individual returns, leaves
10 to come back to their home duty station.
11 Upon approval of the questionnaires they
12 were implemented immediately for designated OCONUS
13 deployments, and they are currently using these
14 questionnaires in our deployment in Southwest Asia,
15 and also in Bosnia. And we initiated a standardized
16 form in Bosnia about two years ago, that was our first
17 undertaking of this tasking.
18 Screening includes all members whether
19 they're active duty, Reserve or Guard, and also DOD
20 civilians. In conjunction with the questionnaires at
21 the time of pre- and post-deployment we are also
22 collecting serum samples. These serum samples are
1 sent to our DOD serum repository where they are frozen
2 and kept there for use if we need to analyze blood
3 samples later on.
4 This is also done in conjunction with the
5 HIV test. DOD currently does periodic HIV testing of
6 all its members, and the serum that's left over after
7 the test is sent to the repository. So if a member
8 has an HIV sample drawn within the past year then we
9 don't draw blood again. That sample is used for the
10 pre-deployment questionnaire, but the post are still
12 Some initiatives that we're currently
13 working on we are working to automate these
14 questionnaires. Right now they're in paper form. We
15 are looking to automate them, that will save time to
16 the individual who's deploying and also for the health
17 care provider who must review the questionnaires.
18 These are fluid documents. We are going to make
19 improvements and changes as the need arises and as
20 things are indicated through lessons that we learn.
21 And also even though the mental health --
22 there are some mental health questions in these
1 questionnaires. This is not the definitive tool for
2 DOD. There's currently a working group formed that are
3 looking at devising a definitive psychological
4 screening tool that will be used for our deployments.
5 This slide depicts what we call the
6 Service member life cycle. And this is DOD's future
7 goal, vision. We are currently working on this. A
8 computerized medical record which will collect health
9 status data throughout the entire Service, being of
10 the individual. The first, over to the left, column
11 on initiation when a Service member goes through the
12 acquisition process they come into the Service we
13 collect base line data.
14 That information then will be sent to the
15 centralized computerized record. During their
16 military service if they go on deployment the health
17 data that we collect pre/during/post-deployment and
18 after deployment will be sent to this computerized
19 record. If the member undergoes a CCEP like
20 evaluation that data will be sent to this record.
21 And the HEAR which I talked about a couple
22 of minutes ago, that data that we collect periodically
1 will be sent to the computerized record. At the end
2 of the Service when the individual either retires or
3 separates that data will then be fed, this whole
4 electronic data base will be fed to the VA for the
5 disability claims.
6 And this is my last slide. This is the
7 future vision that DOD has for questionnaires. Right
8 now we are looking at automating these questionnaires.
9 We're working on a couple of different automation
10 systems right now. We will use that until such time
11 as the HEAR Program comes on line.
12 Once the HEAR Program comes on line any
13 data that is not collected in this HEAR will be --
14 that is in the pre- and post-deployment questionnaires
15 but not collected in the HEAR will be incorporated
16 into it, that HEAR will be given to the individual
17 periodically at least once annually.
18 Then there may not be a need to stop and
19 have them do the pre-questionnaire as they're getting
20 on the plane to go whatever. The status should
21 already be there, we should know the status of that
1 That concludes my briefing. I'll be happy
2 to entertain any questions. Thank you.
3 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Thank you very much.
4 Let me start by asking a question. The
5 post-deployment, the pre and post-deployment system
6 that you just described will apply to everybody?
7 MAJOR KINTY: Yes, ma'am.
8 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: The post-deployment
9 is done just before they return?
10 MAJOR KINTY: Correct.
11 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: What sampling or
12 plans do you have to periodically look at a group of
13 returned vets over the course of the next several
15 MAJOR KINTY: If -- are you talking about
16 like for a physical evaluation or the actual
17 questionnaire itself?
18 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Either, whatever. I
19 mean the issue that we were trying to get at, and this
20 is -- you know, I'm very impressed that this is an
21 important advance. But one of the key questions is
22 how do you continue surveillance after they've
1 returned to the states so that we pick up information
2 that there is some illness going on that won't show up
3 til six months, a year, or a year later, but is
4 cropping up here, there and elsewhere. What are your
5 plans for that?
6 MAJOR KINTY: These questionnaires were
7 designed to determine the health status of the
8 individual right at that point in time.
9 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Alright.
10 MAJOR KINTY: The other illnesses or
11 whatever that may have a long latency period and we
12 may see later on should be picked up by this annual
13 HEAR process where once a year they come in and they
14 are given this standardized questionnaire and a
15 physical. And any parts of that physical that, you
16 know, they say they're having problems with a risk
17 factors then they would get additional testing.
18 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: That would be done
19 yearly on all members?
20 MAJOR KINTY: Yes, ma'am, that's our plan.
21 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: That would be all who
22 are on active duty?
1 MAJOR KINTY: Well, also we're looking at
2 how to implement -- and I don't have the total answer
3 to that, but we are looking at how we can do this to
4 also include other Service members that -- Guard,
5 Reserve or whatever, other retirees.
6 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: I think, you know, my
7 only action is that this is excellent for all those
8 who are in the Service. What to do about those who
9 have been discharged from the Service I would question
10 the necessity to do total.
11 MAJOR KINTY: Absolutely.
12 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: I mean we were
13 suggesting an epidemiologic sample that could be
14 followed periodically as an early warning system, much
15 as CDC get through to information on the population.
16 Other questions?
17 MR. CROSS: The problem I have, and I
18 think I'm kind of echoing what Dr. Lashof is saying.
19 The post-deployment check-up is done before they
20 leave. It seems to me that something should be done
21 within probably two or three weeks of them returning
22 OCONUS because there could be something that's not
1 picked up until somebody's out of --
2 MAJOR KINTY: You're absolutely correct.
3 MR. CROSS: -- off deployment and their
4 next physical might not come until 12 months later
5 let's say.
6 MAJOR KINTY: Sure. And we do have a
7 follow-up right now currently in Bosnia. They're
8 screened when they leave the theatre and then they're
9 screened additionally 30 days after the fact, then 90
10 days later they're given a TB test.
11 MR. CROSS: Alright, that makes sense to
13 MAJOR KINTY: Yes.
14 MR. CROSS: Because I know Persian Gulf,
15 a lot of people had nasal congestion while they were
16 over there and after awhile it just became second
17 nature to them, and it didn't really hit home that it
18 was a problem until they got back home and their nasal
19 problems cleared up.
20 So if you -- obviously if you wait too
21 long somebody's going to forget and not relate
22 deployment to say a nasal problem.
1 MAJOR KINTY: And also just as a side
2 Reserve and Guard members who before they're called up
3 for these deployments before they're released from
4 active duty they also undergo a physical evaluation
5 process. It's not the end all to be all, we know
6 that, but we are working toward trying to come up with
7 the best tools possible to capture this data.
8 MR. CASSELLS: You said that an earlier
9 version of these questionnaires were currently being
10 used in Bosnia.
11 MAJOR KINTY: Correct.
12 MR. CASSELLS: And that you plan to use
13 these new ones for any future deployment. Now you
14 said that the (inaudible word) is administered at a
15 central processing point upon arrival in-theatre, but
16 that there was some places in OCONUS now that were
17 beginning to do those prior to deployment. In order
18 to assure completeness are you repeating it for
20 MAJOR KINTY: Yes. Yes, and it makes them
21 real happy. But they do get to go through it twice.
22 MR. CASSELLS: Okay. Have you gotten any
1 information out of the use of the tool in Bosnia that
2 is causing you to make any projected changes in your
3 current approach?
4 MAJOR KINTY: So far we've done some
5 preliminary data analysis, but that is very
6 preliminary and I don't have a lot of information on
7 that yet.
8 MR. CASSELLS: On the matter of the
9 psychological screening tools what is the purpose of
10 the psychological screening tool in this instance? Is
11 it to, as you said for the earlier questionnaire, to
12 verify deployability or to determine deployability in
13 the instance of psychological testing?
14 MAJOR KINTY: I'm not in the loops much on
15 the psychological, but my understanding is that it is
16 to verify deployability also, and not to determine it.
17 MR. CASSELLS: It seems to me, Dr. Koo,
18 that this most closely resembles perhaps the National
19 Health Interview Survey in terms of the type of
20 surveillance process that this is. Do you agree with
22 DR. KOO: The National Health Interview
1 Survey comes out of the National Center for Health
2 Statistics and there also is the Hanes (phonics
3 spelling) National Health and Nutrition Examination
4 Survey which is coupled with physical exams. So I
5 guess if we're talking mostly about questionnaires
6 then probably it's most similar.
7 Although as Dr. Lashof pointed out what
8 the surveys that we generally tend to do are samples
9 because of the fact that public health surveillance as
10 differentiated from medical surveillance is really
11 trying to look at numerator issues. We do not have
12 the resources to look at, the denominator or to look
13 at the entire population.
14 MR. CASSELLS: Can you give me your
15 reaction to this proposed scheme?
16 DR. KOO: Well, I would say that by I like
17 the use of the word "standardized." I mean that's
18 always our concern about doing any type of
19 surveillance, trying to gather data. When you have
20 multiple different people filling out a questionnaire,
21 multiple different people administering a
22 questionnaire, you can't possibly -- you can't
1 possibly analyze the data over a large group of people
2 unless you have some instrument that is standardized.
3 Obviously one would want to look at the
4 questionnaire with regard to what, where are the
5 objectives, what are you looking for, what are the
6 issues that have been raised in terms of deployments.
7 But it does sound like a good idea to have pre and
8 post-deployment. In other words you've got a base
9 line, you know what the status is before you know what
10 the status is after.
11 You raised another question about when --
12 Mr. Cross raised another question about when the
13 post-deployment exam should occur in terms of being
14 able to pick up illnesses or conditions. And, again,
15 obviously you have to try to determine what you expect
16 to be an incubation period, whether an infectious or
17 chemical condition.
18 MR. CASSELLS: I just have one more
20 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Sure.
21 MR. CASSELLS: Major Kinty, in the
22 Committee's Report in January of '96, the Department
1 only concurred in part relative to the pre and
2 post-deployment screening. And the concurrence in
3 part was that the agency, Department of Defense in
4 this instance, indicated that they were not going to
5 identify sub-populations.
6 Now you're telling me now that with the
7 Bosnia deployment that you are taking that
8 sub-population and following them after 30 days, 90
9 days or whatever. Is that going to be a standard
10 policy for future deployments?
11 MAJOR KINTY: Yes, sir. It'll depend on,
12 of course, you know, where they go and what explosures
13 they would anticipate. But like the TB test I can't
14 think of very many places that we wouldn't want to do
15 that 90 days later. And yes, that is correct.
16 MR. CASSELLS: Okay.
17 MAJOR KINTY: The whole population.
18 MR. CASSELLS: So we can conclude now that
19 the Department concurs?
20 MAJOR KINTY: I can't say that.
21 MR. CASSELLS: It sounds like it. Thank
1 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Mark?
2 MR. BROWN: Thank you. Dr. Koo, in your
3 description of CC's Health Surveillance Program you
4 mentioned how the states, it's up to the states to
5 report information about the health of members living
6 in their individual states.
7 And I got the impression from the way you
8 described it that there's nothing comparable that that
9 program does not look at any active duty Service
10 members. No data from active duty Service members is
11 not turned over to CDC as part of that program. Is
12 that true?
13 First of all is that true and if -- well,
14 and if you don't look at it active duty Service
15 members is there some reason for that, is there some
16 statutory reason that it doesn't allow CDC to look at
17 active duty Service members?
18 DR. KOO: The National Notifiable Diseases
19 Surveillance System, as I mentioned, the jurisdiction
20 does remain with the states. Public health is not
21 mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, therefore, it's
22 really -- we have to be invited in by the states.
1 So the tradition over many years is that
2 the states determine what the rules and regulations
3 are. They, of course, try their best to get providers
4 to report these conditions on the list to them. Some
5 of them actually write it into their regulations with
6 regard to licensure, but it's sort of differentially
7 enforced. And I think it's a difficult issue for the
8 State Health Departments to enforce.
9 The forms that we agreed on in terms of
10 required information -- I mean we have to balance
11 confidentiality with public interest in trying to
12 protect the health of the community, do contain
13 information about the demographics of the patient.
14 Although the demographic information, the
15 personal identifier such as name, address at the state
16 level. We do not get that kind of information. We
17 have discussed the issue of notification of cases from
18 the health service, from other jurisdictions, other
19 federal agencies such as Army bases, etcetera.
20 And we understand from the states, again
21 because it's really when the fort or the base is
22 located in that state it is up to the states to work
1 out their agreements with those bases. That they
2 generally do hear from the organization that's located
3 there, the fort, etcetera.
4 The base, whatever, that they do hear from
5 them they report it. They're not reported to us as
6 distinctly from base or civilian populations. I think
7 many, many years ago there was reporting by civilian
8 and military, but there is no longer at this point,
9 not to the national level.
10 MR. BROWN: But there's no fundamental
11 reason why you couldn't take data directly from active
12 duty hospitals that treated -- had responsibility for
13 active duty Service members, for instance.
14 DR. KOO: There's not a reason. We've
15 just have worked through the state health departments
16 because they're physically there and are able to
17 respond and take public health action.
18 MR. BROWN: Just one last question for
19 Major Kinty. The HEAR Program that you described, I
20 wasn't completely clear about that. Does this involve
21 an actual physical examination each year or is it just
22 a questionnaire? How much of an actual -- how much of
1 the actual health data do you actually collect from
2 the individuals? Is it a full physical?
3 MAJOR KINTY: It is both. It is a
4 physical and a questionnaire. And the questionnaire
5 is designed to identify risk factors based on your
6 occupation, your family history or whatever, so
7 additional physical exam testing or whatever can be
8 given based on the answers that the member provides.
9 MR. BROWN: But even if the survey doesn't
10 identify any particular risk factors, occupational or
11 otherwise the individual Service member will still get
12 some kind of at least --
13 MAJOR KINTY: Some type of a general, yes,
14 health assessment physical.
15 MR. BROWN: Thank you.
16 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Marguerite?
17 MS. KNOX: Does that include, Major Kinty,
18 any diagnostic testing on that physical exam? It
19 would include some basic like blood work or whatever,
20 and additional as indicated? And does that match the
21 post-deployment diagnostic work?
22 Some of the problems that we've incurred
1 with, some of the Gulf War veterans is, for example,
2 they received the health questionnaire evaluation form
3 pre-deployment, and then on their return
4 post-deployment they actually got a good physical exam
5 and some diagnostic testing.
6 If, for instance, they had an abnormal
7 chest x-ray when they arrived in OCONUS if they didn't
8 have a previous chest x-ray that showed that it was
9 normal prior to their deployment the burden of proof
10 has been on the shoulder of the veteran to show they,
11 in fact, got that disease or disorder of their chest
12 while they were there in Saudi Arabia. And so that's
13 one of the things that they're caught between.
14 The other thing is that concerns me is
15 regarding Reserve. We don't do annual physicals
16 except every five years. So if you have someone that
17 is in the Reserves and they've not had a physical for
18 five years they do have a physical exam prior to
19 deployment, is that right?
20 MAJOR KINTY: They answer the
21 questionnaire right now as it stands. I'm not talking
22 about the HEAR, I'm talking about the pre-deployment
1 questionnaire. If they indicate that there are some
2 abnormalities or whatever in the questionnaire then
3 they see a health care provider, then they get
4 whatever evaluation or exam is indicated.
5 But they don't get a full fledged physical
6 unless indicated by the health assessment
8 MS. KNOX: So that's a screen that if you
9 have positive findings then you may get a physical?
10 MAJOR KINTY: Absolutely.
11 MS. KNOX: If you have negative findings
12 then you do not?
13 MAJOR KINTY: That's correct.
14 MS. KNOX: So that really is not your
15 match for your post-deployment as it is
16 pre-deployment. So if your findings are negative you
17 didn't get a physical exam, but you're guaranteed a
18 physical exam when you come home? Or is that based on
19 your screening as well?
20 MAJOR KINTY: Okay, for everyone across
21 the board that they go through the post-deployment
22 screening, if they indicate no positive findings
1 active duty do not get a physical exam at that point.
2 But there is a policy where Reserve was before there,
3 and Guard before they're released back off of active
4 duty get a standardized physical of some description.
5 And I really don't know what all that entails.
6 MS. KNOX: And so are you telling me, too,
7 that active duty get a physical exam every year, is
8 that every Service?
9 MAJOR KINTY: That is not the way it is
10 right now. That is what the HEAR is devised to cover.
11 The HEAR Program which is currently just coming on
12 line, and we do have it at a couple of bases but it is
13 not throughout DOD. We'll cover this assessment that
14 will be given annually.
15 MS. KNOX: That will be screening every
17 MAJOR KINTY: That will be a screening
18 every year, and that will be across, standardized
19 across all Services.
20 MR. CASSELLS: But the physical
21 examination will depend upon a finding in the
1 MAJOR KINTY: With the HEAR there's a
2 basic physical exam included in it. I don't know the
3 specifics of what all that is. But then any positive
4 findings that they indicate on the questionnaire would
5 then initiate a further evaluation. If they're all
6 negative then it would just be the routine physical
7 exam that's associated with the HEAR.
8 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: But there would be a
9 routine physical examination associated with the
11 MAJOR KINTY: Associated with the HEAR.
12 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Both pre and post, is
13 that correct?
14 MAJOR KINTY: I'm sorry, if the -- with
15 the pre and post-deployment right now we don't have it
16 here on line yet. The HEAR is coming --
17 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: No, but I mean when
18 HEAR goes on line.
19 MAJOR KINTY: When the HEAR goes on line
20 there is a basic physical of some description
21 associated with that. I don't -- that is still under
22 policy and I really don't know all the details of what
1 it will encompass at this time.
2 MR. CASSELLS: Will that be spelled out in
3 the directive that you say will be out in August,
4 medical surveillance directive? Is that a component
5 part of that directive?
6 MAJOR KINTY: I honestly -- I don't -- the
7 HEAR part I honestly don't know.
8 MR. CASSELLS: There was some pressure at
9 the time of the return from the Persian Gulf to get
10 people back home as quickly as possible. What sort of
11 safe guards are you building into this system so that
12 the post-deployment screening actually gets done in
13 view of that pressure?
14 MAJOR KINTY: Right now we do have some
15 question. It is supposed to be done before they're
16 ever allowed to board a plane. We receive a copy of
17 their screening form. That goes into a master data
18 base. We then match up who went with who received a
19 physical. And if they did not get a physical or the
20 screening process when they left the theatre then it
21 is sent to the home base, and we say alright, these
22 people did not, please get them in and let's complete
1 what didn't get done in-theatre.
2 MR. CASSELLS: Okay.
3 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Tom?
4 MR. CROSS: The January, '97 working group
5 for Tri-Service were there any Reserve Military
6 physicians on that board?
7 MAJOR KINTY: There was a representative
8 from the Reserves and I don't think she is a
9 physician, I believe she was a nurse practitioner.
10 But we did have representation.
11 MR. CROSS: Okay. Because, you know,
12 having spent 20 years in the Reserve I do have a big
13 concern --
14 MAJOR KINTY: Sure.
15 MR. CROSS: -- with the access to medical
16 facilities and/or care. It is very, very limited in
17 the Reserves.
18 MAJOR KINTY: Yes.
19 MR. CROSS: Yet the Reserves are doing a
20 lot more active duty deployment work now than ever
21 before. It's a major concern.
22 MAJOR KINTY: I understand in DOD I have
1 some concern about it too, absolutely.
2 MS. KNOX: And the Guard Reserve only get
3 a physical exam every five years.
4 MAJOR KINTY: I don't know that
6 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Well, we'll want to
7 follow-up on the question of the Reserve and the
8 frequency of that. We'll follow-up on that.
9 Other questions? Elaine?
10 MS. LARSON: Sounds like a step forward.
11 I can imagine the difficulties with collecting --
12 everybody's going to get serum samples, right, pre-
13 and if something comes up then something will be done
14 with it. How long are they going to be stored? For
15 example, there were what, 600,000 Gulf War vets,
16 600,000 samples are setting somewhere in a minus 70
17 degrees freezer for how long?
18 MAJOR KINTY: It's my understanding
19 indefinitely. I don't think there --
20 MS. LARSON: Indefinitely.
21 MAJOR KINTY: I don't think there's any
22 plan to -- at this point anyway, for a time limit on
1 them. They're frozen, you know, to minus whatever.
2 MR. CROSS: That's correct, yes.
3 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: I have a couple of
4 silly ones. MEPCOM, DODMERB, DEERS, what does all
5 that mean?
6 MAJOR KINTY: One of them refers to
7 officers that go through ROTC and they have just a
8 little bit different assessing physical evaluation
9 than the other one which is MEPCOM, which refers to
10 mostly enlisted people that come directly in and they
11 go through what's called a MEP station where they get
12 a health assessment at that time. It's just another
14 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Another acronym.
15 Like I didn't even know what OCONUS meant when we
16 first put it up, and anyone else that was outside the
17 Continental U.S., thank you.
18 If not -- Tom?
19 MR. CROSS: I've got a question.
20 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Sure. Please.
21 MR. CROSS: The information you get from
22 the states is there any trend nowadays where some of
1 the reports will say the mortality rates is due to
2 Persian Gulf syndrome or suspected Persian Gulf
4 DR. KOO: We do not receive mortality data
5 on a regular basis at the CDC that -- well, the
6 National Center for Health Statistics does look at
7 vital records, the birth and death certificates, and
8 they would have to look at that whole data base to try
9 to determine what would be the questions and whether
10 those syndromes would be suspected and coded into the
11 death certificates.
12 I would think you would have to ask NCHS
13 if it's in the data, and unfortunately it takes a long
14 time to collect death certificates, so there is -- and
15 to clean up the data and enter it into a computer. So
16 there's a bit of a delay, a lag time in when they
17 actually finish the analyses of those data.
18 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: But NCHS does have a
19 National Death Survey?
20 DR. KOO: That's right.
21 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: And my understanding
22 that the VA Mortality Study did cross check all of the
1 vets against the National Death Survey. And the
2 ongoing Mortality Study will continue to do that. So
3 they are availing themselves of that.
4 DR. KOO: Thank you.
5 MR. CROSS: I have one other question.
6 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Sure.
7 MR. CROSS: Major Kinty, you're a Persian
8 Gulf veteran. How's your health?
9 MAJOR KINTY: Yes, I am a Persian Gulf
10 veteran. I'm getting older and I do have some
11 problems, however, I don't think I can relate them to
12 Service. I have a feeling they would be there. I
13 turned 40 and --
14 MR. CROSS: Welcome.
15 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: If not I thank you
16 very much. It's been most helpful. We will take a
17 brief break and resume at 11:15. We'll take 10
19 Off the record.
20 (A 15 minute recess ensued.)
21 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: We are ready to
22 resume. We're going to keep you busy today, Dr.
1 Rostker. Thank you for coming.
2 We're going to begin now with some of the
3 DOD issue analyses, the first one being the MOPP
4 guidance, M8 alarm capability and SCUD chem/bio
5 capability. And we have a panel, Dr. Rostker, Ms.
6 Anne Rathmell Davis, and Lt. Colonel Art Nalls.
7 Welcome, thank you for coming and you may proceed.
8 DR. ROSTKER: Thank you, Dr. Lashof and
9 the Committee. It's our pleasure to be here today.
10 I'm going to provide a quick update to some of the
11 significant activities that are going on in my office.
12 And then my colleagues are prepared to brief on the
13 subjects that you've asked us to make presentations
15 As you know I, unfortunately, missed the
16 last public meeting of the Committee because I was
17 engaged in a series of eleven townhall meetings. I
18 found those meetings extremely valuable and the value
19 came home -- and, in fact, this morning as I was
20 hearing the testimony of the veterans before your
22 One of the most disturbing and poignant
1 facts that came out from the townhall meetings was the
2 concern of many of the veterans for biological
3 exposure and concern for the health of their spouses
4 and in some cases their children. At one meeting a
5 couple came up who had not even been at the Gulf but
6 were concerned about their health because they had
7 felt they had been exposed to contamination from
8 veterans that they knew.
9 It was quite clear that in our overall
10 capacity of trying to investigate and allay the fears
11 of many veterans that we needed a heightened effort on
12 the biological aspects. And we have, in fact,
13 undertaken that.
14 One of the -- at one of the meetings that
15 were several representations about positions that were
16 attributed to Dr. Lo, just as there were discussions
17 this morning about positions attributed to Dr. Lo.
18 And I took the opportunity to spend an extensive
19 period of time with Dr. Lo and his colleagues at the
20 Armed Forces Institute of Pathology at Walter Reed.
21 One of the things we discussed there was
22 our ongoing relationship with Dr. Nicolson. And I
1 said ongoing because, in fact, we have a protocol
2 worked out with Dr. Nicolson. We have agreed to the
3 drawing of serum samples and the blind testing of
4 those samples at a number of laboratories that would
5 have been instructed in the techniques that Dr.
6 Nicolson has been using to identify the microplasma.
7 The funds have been identified for that
8 test. We expect the contracts to be let within a
9 number of weeks. The protocols have been established
10 and on our Gulf Link (inaudible word) pages is an
11 appeal for veterans to come in and provide blood
12 samples that would be the basis for these blind tests.
13 So I wanted to let you and the veterans
14 community know that we have moved off sharply funding
15 research directly with Dr. Nicolson. Moreover that
16 research will be supervised by NIH rather than just
17 the Department of Defense. It will be some months,
18 more months than I would like to see but pushing
19 science and doing the tests is time consuming. And
20 that material will be made available to the American
22 So I wanted to set the record straight and
1 inform the Committee and, of course, speaking for the
2 Defense Department Dr. Lo would be happy to meet with
3 any members of the Committee at any time to discuss
4 his research, what his position is on all of this, and
5 the soon to commence research with Dr. Nicolson.
6 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Thank you very much.
7 DR. ROSTKER: Several other things that
8 have been underway in our organization I think you are
9 all aware of the extensive testing at Dugway, I know
10 Mark was there. This is giving us a much better sense
11 of the events at Khamisiyah. In the tests at Dugway
12 we blew up singly and in groups 122 millimeter rockets
13 with manufactured warheads that contained chemical
14 simulants with crates that duplicated the crates that
15 these rockets were stored in. And we gained, I think,
16 substantial insight as to the nature of the explosions
17 and what might have been released.
18 There is some subsequent research that we
19 were not expecting that falls out of those tests,
20 particularly the issue of soil absorption of the serum
21 that was not vaporized but leached, as well as the
22 issue of serum that would have been blown into the
1 crates. It would have been captured in the wood
2 fibers and again could have leached out.
3 We are carrying out that research and
4 unless there are some surprises we still believe we
5 can meet a reporting date to the Committee in
6 mid-July, but we will keep you informed as to any
7 other events. The models, the meteorological data are
8 all set to go, we're waiting for this information. To
9 say the least I think this will be a extremely
10 important in getting out the issue of potential
12 There will be, but not before the July
13 period then work to correlate the exposure data with
14 any health consequences in terms of CCP participation
15 and other health consequences that we can. That will,
16 however, not be finished by July.
17 We have finished our review of the
18 Czech/French Detections. We're holding publication of
19 that pending a trip in July to both Paris and Prague,
20 and we would expect to make that report public
21 immediately after. The draft material is, of course,
22 available to the Committee at any time.
1 We're stirred up an environmental unit
2 with a different methodology from the chemical
3 exposures. Chemical exposures has been reasonable
4 straight forward, although very difficult because we
5 have specific events we can focus on. And many of the
6 environmental exposures, including the potential for
7 biologicals we don't have an explicit direct event.
8 We have concerns after the fact or a
9 longer term exposure, or exposures that are difficult
10 to assess at this point, like the pesticides. We will
11 be going to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and possibly
12 Egypt in September to press forward with that line of
14 And finally we continue to publish our
15 case narratives. We're somewhat behind schedule, and
16 that's frankly my fault because I'm insisting on the
17 reports being comprehensive and readable, and in some
18 cases where we have not achieved that goal I have held
20 But we have kept the staff fully informed
21 as to what our schedule is and how we hope to continue
22 to publish the case narratives, and the backroom
1 papers that supports those.
2 With that I'd be happy to answer any
3 questions or hold those questions for the end at your
4 convenience, ma'am.
5 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: I think we might hold
6 the questions until the panel finishes.
7 MS. DAVIS: Dr. Lashof, Members of the
8 Committee, Committee Staff, as Dr. Rostker mentioned
9 I'm Ann Rathmell Davis, I'm Director of Investigation
10 and Analysis for the Office of the Special Assistant.
11 You requested a briefing on my director,
12 its assessment of MOPP guidance, M8 alarm capability
13 and SCUD chem/bio capability. I appreciate the
14 opportunity to share with you the information we have.
15 As we noted to you in our last meeting at
16 Charleston as we've investigated specific incidents
17 which occurred during the Gulf War it became clear
18 that certain information was needed to provide a
19 knowledge base, not only for our investigation teams
20 but also for the veterans and others who would read
21 the reports of our investigations. We've identified
22 several topics which cut across the incident
1 investigations and deal with over arching
2 considerations of detection equipment and operational
3 procedures during the Gulf War.
4 These topics will be discussed in
5 information papers which we will publish in much the
6 same way as we do the case narratives. MOPP guide, M8
7 alarms and SCUD capabilities are three of these
8 information papers which are in various stages of
10 MOPP equipment and procedures constitute
11 the protection element of nuclear biological and
12 chemical or NBC Defense Doctorate. The other elements
13 are voidance and decontamination. The purpose of this
14 equipment and these procedures is to counter the
15 threat posed by these weapons while conserving the
16 fighting potential of the force.
17 As displayed in the photo key parts of
18 MOPP equipment include the over-garment and helmet
19 cover, the vinyl overboot, the mask and hood and the
20 gloves. There are five MOPP levels which represent
21 the success of donning pieces of equipment in response
22 to increased threat levels.
1 The MOPP equipment protects against solid,
2 liquid or vapor chemical agents. The mask permits
3 breathing through special filters that absorb airborne
4 agents and protect the lungs and eyes. The other
5 components, the overgarment, the hood, the boots and
6 the gloves protect against agent contact with the
8 While the gloves and boots are impermeable
9 and provide a solid barrier to liquid agent absorption
10 the overgarment and hood are designed to permit some
11 passage of air through an outerlayer of cloth which
12 limits the liquid absorption, and an innerlayer of
13 charcoal impregnated foam which acts as a filter.
14 This permeability reduces the buildup of
15 some body heat and moisture while wearing the MOPP
17 Because use of MOPP gear can degrade an
18 individual performance due to heat casualties, reduced
19 hearing and vision and communications problems,
20 commanders must balance the threat against the mission
21 accomplishment. Since the equipment and procedures
22 are designed for rapid employment and use commanders
1 can use MOPP as a flexible tool to exercise force
2 protection on an as-needed basis.
3 Review of Gulf War operational records
4 reveals that chemical protective equipment was used in
5 accordance with doctrine. When a threat was perceived
6 units put on some or all of their MOPP gear. While
7 fighting heat buildup was anticipated as a potential
8 operational limitation the relatively cool
9 temperatures in the area during the war resulted in
10 this not being a significant problem.
11 As noted in subsequent reports overall
12 MOPP equipment had a limited negative impact on
13 operations. As you can see here the comments really
14 were that the equipment performed as designed.
15 However, there were some lessons learned,
16 particularly in the supply and maintenance areas. The
17 key complaint was that there was not serviceability
18 data for the overgarments. That is the individual
19 soldier was not necessarily aware of how long he could
20 wear the suit with full degree of confidence and what
21 he needed to do in order to store the suit when he
22 wasn't wearing it.
1 Lessons learned the Gulf War have also
2 resulted in improvements to the equipment. The M-40
3 Series mask not only is more comfortable but it allows
4 a correct facial fit for nearly 100 percent of the
5 military population, including extra small and extra
6 large face shapes.
7 Under development is a light weight
8 overgarment based on the British Mark 4 suit which
9 reduces heat buildup. Our assessment of MOPP guidance
10 and procedures during the Gulf War that they were used
11 correctly and did not pose a significant operational
12 limitation. Furthermore we have found no evidence
13 that anyone suffered chemical agent effects because of
14 the failure of the available of protection equipment.
15 Turning now to the M8A1 Chemical Agent
16 Alarm, during the Gulf War this alarm was the primary
17 needs of detecting nerve agent vapors and
18 automatically sounding alarms. The basic system is as
19 shown here consists of three components, although the
20 system is designed to have multiple alarms attached to
21 the detector unit so that the alarms can spread out
22 over an area and be heard by all members of a unit.
1 The detector itself draws air through an
2 internal sensor where it's ionized. The heavier ion
3 such as nerve agent cause an increase current in the
4 collector, which again is part of the remote detector,
5 and that triggers -- that increase current triggers
6 the audible and visual alarms.
7 However, the M8 detects only nerve agents
8 and it must be placed upwind of the unit position to
9 ensure both continuous air flow and adequate warning
10 to the unit of a threat coming their way. The system
11 is generally issued to and employed by the NBC team of
12 a unit.
13 Training does not require any specialized
14 skills and it emphasizes proper placement and
15 preventive maintenance checks and services.
16 The Gulf War demonstrated that operational
17 conditions can result in the alarm sounding without
18 the present of nerve agent. These are indicative of
19 the kinds of things that we know caused alarms to
20 sound where subsequent testing with M256 kits did not
21 indicate any presence of agent.
22 In particular a number of substances
1 contain heavier ions which caused the collector to
2 trigger the alarm. And there are examples of the
3 interference here. We also have reports that such
4 things as aftershave lotion and cigarette smoke would
5 cause the M8's to alarm.
6 Because of these false alarms units
7 reported a loss of confidence in the reliability of
8 the M8A1, and some of the comments are noted here. We
9 have recurring reports that at least by the end of the
10 ground war many units, either because of low battery
11 problems caused by low batteries or because of sand
12 clogging and similar types of interference,
13 essentially turned off the M8's and didn't use them
14 because they didn't trust them.
15 As a result of new technology, new
16 requirements and these lessons learned a replacement
17 for the M43A1 detector portion of the alarm has been
18 developed and will be fielded later this year. As
19 noted here it is and continues to be a vapor alarm,
20 however, it does have the capability to detect both
21 nerve and blister agents. They also have designed it
22 so that the false alarm rate from interference is
1 expected to be considerably lower than the M8A1.
2 Finally we're in the early stages of
3 development of an information paper on Iraqi SCUD
4 Capabilities. Since the potential use of SCUDS with
5 chemical or biological warheads was such a significant
6 threat during the Gulf War it's important to
7 understand the actual capabilities, characteristics
8 and use of these missiles. We have a number of case
9 narratives under development that dis- (inaudible
10 word) actual incidents of SCUDS, and SCUD impacts.
11 It's very clear from our research that the
12 Iraqis' had the capability to use SCUDS as a platform
13 for delivering chemical and biological warfare agents.
14 The fundamental question that we need to answer is was
15 that capability, in fact, used. And those are
16 questions that are going to be posed and hopefully
17 answered based on the information we have in the
18 context of our case narratives.
19 But in order to understand that capability
20 and context the information paper will describe the
21 types of SCUDS, the Iraqie doctrine for their use, the
22 actual employment of SCUDS during the Gulf War and
1 then subsequent inspection by the U.N. Special
3 Probably one of the most famous SCUD
4 incidents was the impact of the SCUD in the harbor at
5 Al Jubayl. Colonel Nalls is going to be talking about
6 the Al Jubayl case a little bit later this morning,
7 and will be focusing on the report of a very loud
8 noise there. Our case narrative also will discuss the
9 SCUD impact.
10 There the SCUD was retrieved intact and
11 subsequent testing demonstrated that there was no
12 chemical agent present in that SCUD, that it was a
13 high explosive SCUD. But the best estimate of what
14 caused the symptoms that were reported by the units in
15 the Al Jubayl area was release of the propellant, the
16 red fuming nitric acid from this SCUD.
17 Again the information paper will discuss
18 things like the characteristics of the propellants and
19 the effects of those propellants can have to the
20 extent that they become vaporized in the air.
21 Finally Dr. Rostker mentioned that in the
22 environmental standpoint we are going to go to Saudi
1 Arabia and Kuwait in September. We also hope to be
2 able to go to Israel. Because of the number of
3 reports coming out of Israel about launch of SCUDS and
4 impact of SCUDS in Israel with chemical and
5 biological, or at least chemical agents aboard, we
6 want to talk to the government and find out what their
7 investigations into the SCUD and the SCUD impacts have
8 found so that we can incorporate that into the
9 information paper so we have the full story.
10 That concludes my briefing. I would be
11 happy to take any questions from the panel.
12 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: I think, again, we'll
13 go ahead and hear from Lt. Colonel Art Nall and then
14 take all the questions following that.
15 MS. NISHIMI: You intend to now address Al
16 Jubayl and the like, right?
17 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Yes, ma'am.
18 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: I'm sorry, that's
19 right. We'll take questions for Dr. Rostker and Ms.
20 Davis now on just the MOPP and M8.
21 MR. BROWN: Ms. Davis, you talked from
22 your testimony about MOPP gear. It sounded like most
1 of the combat troops during the ground war, let's say
2 front line troops are actually involved in combat or
3 potential combat, were wearing at least some level of
4 MOPP gear. They were at least somewhat protected from
5 the possibility of chemical exposure, is that true?
6 MS. DAVIS: Yes, that is true. That is
7 our research of the operational records book during
8 the war and after action reports. To satisfy that
9 point, yes, people were, in fact, wearing MOPP gear.
10 MR. BROWN: Well, wouldn't that be
11 consistent then with the possibility of low level,
12 reports of low level protections, yet reports of no
13 casualties. In other words if people were protected
14 from low level it would have taken their part much
15 higher level of agent to possibly cause a health
17 MS. DAVIS: I think it's a possibility,
18 however, most of what we saw is that folks were
19 wearing the overgarments which certainly would have an
20 effect again some of the, for instance the blister
22 MR. BROWN: It would offer some
1 significant protection presumably, that's why they
2 wore it?
3 MS. DAVIS: That's correct, against some
4 agents that might be present. That is correct.
5 DR. ROSTKER: I think it also varied
6 greatly by unit. The 24th Division stayed in the
7 overgarment during an extended period of time. Other
8 units, as soon as the ground war was over, shed the
9 overgarments and were in standard utilities.
10 MR. BROWN: But nevertheless during the
11 ground war they were wearing -- I mean Ms. Davis
12 testified that they were wearing MOPP gear, at least
13 partial MOPP gear if not full MOPP gear during the
14 ground war.
15 DR. ROSTKER: But for example the
16 Khamisiyah period was after the ground war.
17 MR. BROWN: I understand. I understand,
19 LT. COLONEL NALLS: If I could interject
20 a comment there too, concerning protection, as most of
21 the units were in partial MOPP wearing the overgarment
22 that would indeed provide some protection against
1 permeation of the skin. But the most sensitive part
2 of the human body to most of these chemical agents are
3 the eyes, the nose and the throat. And those were
4 largely unprotected and you would have seen some sort
5 of symptoms, someone complaining of irritation of the
6 eyes, maybe a nerve agent, something along that line.
7 MR. BROWN: So the partial MOPP gear
8 obviously give some protection but not full
10 LT. COLONEL NALLS: That's right.
11 MR. BROWN: Okay. Both from you and from
12 -- back under PGIT period of time this Committee heard
13 many times the argument made that since there were no
14 casualties, no injuries during the ground war, for
15 instance, that therefore no chemical agents could have
16 been present.
17 It seems to me that since most of our
18 forces were fortunately protected by this gear, the
19 MOPP gear, that that argument -- you can't really make
20 that argument. If you can't make the argument it
21 seems to me that no casualties means no low level
22 presence of agent because they were protected.
1 DR. ROSTKER: I think Art's point talks to
2 that. There is an important issue that we need to --
3 the MOPP gear is basically designed for a lethal
4 exposure and protection against a lethal exposure.
5 If, through all of our research, we
6 eventually come to the conclusion of a concern for low
7 level whether or not there was low level chem on that
8 battlefield, then I think it behooves us to address
9 what kind of protective posture we take that could be
10 commensurate with that level of threat and stage it
12 So that getting right whether there was or
13 wasn't low level chem and our equipment, I think we
14 have to re-think that at the end of this process to
15 make sure that we provide protection against any level
16 of threat.
17 MR. BROWN: Sure. I guess my point is no
18 casualties doesn't necessarily mean no exposure,
19 particularly when you have a protective population.
20 That's all.
21 MR. TURNER: And, Mark, if I could just
22 make it clear. There were instances where alarms went
1 off and guys went to the full protective sweep.
2 MR. BROWN: Oh yes.
3 MR. TURNER: And in that circumstance
4 certainly we would have every expectation of the MOPP
5 gear would protect them from exposure to low levels.
6 MS. KNOX: That is correct.
7 MR. TURNER: So that no casualties there
8 may not, in fact, mean that there was no presence in
9 that kind of scenario, is that correct, Dr. Rostker?
10 DR. ROSTKER: That's correct. The
11 standard procedure would have been to -- in a reaction
12 to like an M8 to go to MOPP for full protection, and
13 then do a 256 kit test, which is the test that takes
14 about half an hour or so, is the test to confirm the
15 presence of chemicals. And if that was negative then
16 to go out of MOPP gear.
17 These are exactly what they are, they are
18 alarms. They are set to provide a very low false
19 negative, but may well have a false positive. That's
20 okay. They're designed to put people in a position
21 where they go into MOPP gear and test. And in that
22 regard the strategy proved robust.
1 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Well, let me ask --
2 I'm sorry.
3 MS. KNOX: Since we're on the subject of
4 MOPP gear, and I was in a fixed facility, I was not in
5 the middle of the sand, but you have four levels of
6 MOPP gear and the first one is the mask. And when you
7 call MOPP level four you're in a complete coverage
8 from head to toe. I don't quite understand why there
9 would be cases where you would have the garments on
10 and not have the mask because they're built upon
11 different levels of security. Did you wear your
12 garments without your mask, Tom?
13 MR. CROSS: Yeah.
14 MS. KNOX: You did?
15 MR. CROSS: Yeah.
16 LT. COLONEL NALLS: If I could jump in --
17 one of the concepts of MOPP and of wearing the
18 overgarment is not so much that it offers a partial
19 protection but that it reduces the time it takes to
20 get to the complete MOPP level four. It takes several
21 minutes to put all this stuff on.
22 MS. KNOX: Right.
1 LT. COLONEL NALLS: This is the actual
2 definition. There are actually five levels, MOPP "0"
3 where there equipment is just carried and you have it
4 available. And as you had said commanders have the
5 flexibilty just to put the mask on as something
6 immediately, something quick if you suspect an
7 airborne vapor agent or something along that line.
8 That certainly offers better protection than nothing.
9 But the system is designed that commanders
10 can go from one level to the other one with the
11 reduced time, not necessarily implying a level of
12 reduced protection.
13 DR. ROSTKER: For example during the
14 Marine Breaching Operations the troops were in
15 overgarments and foot coverings, but did not have
16 gloves or the mask on. That's very quick once gas was
17 called to put on those two last parts of the MOPP
18 configuration. I think there was a MOPP 2 --
19 MR. CROSS: That was the intent was to be
20 that much closer to full MOPP.
21 DR. ROSTKER: Exactly.
22 MS. LARSON: The M8 alarms, your point was
1 that because of frequent false alarms there was a lack
2 of trust in that whole system. And what you said is
3 that they went off every 20 to 30 minutes. That's
4 what -- okay. So people put on -- they started just
5 ignoring. In other words even when the alarms went
6 off they didn't necessarily don the MOPP gear even at
7 the lowest level.
8 I worked for years in coronary care units
9 where we had alarm systems that in the old days went
10 off every few minutes, and it was very easy to tell a
11 false alarm from the true alarm. Having not seen this
12 system is it possible it would seem to me that one
13 could tell by the nature of the alarm or whatever, I
14 don't know, it's a question.
15 Could you tell, and if not then people
16 were not putting the MOPP gear on frequently when
17 maybe they should have been or maybe they shouldn't
18 been then.
19 MS. DAVIS: First of all the 20 or 30
20 minutes referred to in the briefing was the time
21 normally to set up this system. Yes, we have reported
22 cases where people said that the alarms were going off
1 every five minutes. I mean there are just lots of
2 reports of the alarms going off frequently.
3 There is, unless it is something that is
4 occurring during -- an alarm sounding during
5 preventive maintenance where the team that's actually
6 operating the alarm is doing things like cleaning the
7 filter and testing the alarm. There really is no way
8 to tell without doing subsequent or other chemical
9 detection testing whether the alarm was a false alarm
10 or a true alarm.
11 If, in fact, they are doing preventive
12 maintenance part of what that maintenance requires to
13 test the alarm is sort of like testing your fire alarm
14 at home, it's to make sure that everything is working
15 properly. The alarms do go off, and these guys were
16 trained that when they did that testing they were to
17 announce to the unit at large that they were testing
18 and so not to construe the alarm as being an actual
19 chemical alarm.
20 We don't know how often that word got
21 broadcast, so that at least some reports of alarms
22 that we've heard we believe to have been caused by
1 preventive maintenance.
2 MS. LARSON: But that would be a very
3 minor number?
4 MS. DAVIS: That's correct. Once you get
5 past that where you actually have people there working
6 on the system there is nothing about the system that
7 will allow you to tell what's in it without doing
8 other sampling, using other systems like the M256 kit.
9 DR. ROSTKER: There's an implicit test,
10 and that's not very satisfactory but you look around
11 and you see if anybody is having any symptoms.
12 MS. LARSON: So it's cyclical?
13 DR. ROSTKER: It is. It's not unlike what
14 happens if somebody in your house set off, was testing
15 and set off a fire alarm you'd become alert and you
16 would look for other confirmatory pieces of
17 information. And that's really what the whole system
18 put together is supposed to do.
19 There's a real problem here, and it's one
20 thing for the physicists and the chemists to say I
21 have an alarm and it'll give a false positive. But I
22 think the psychologist might say and you have to start
1 considering what that environment does in terms of how
2 people behave. And that makes the false positive not
3 something to be dismissed as quickly as it might be by
4 the person who's saying well, I get into MOPP gear and
5 everything's fine.
6 So you have got to look at it in a broader
7 sense of a system and there are concerns with exactly
8 the issue you are raising.
9 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: I think in our Report
10 we talked a fair amount about these chemical
11 detectors, and there was some discussion about making
12 efforts to re-look at this issue and develop others.
13 But I don't think that's in your scope of charge, at
14 least as I understand your priorities.
15 DR. ROSTKER: Yes, ma'am, it is.
16 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Oh, okay.
17 DR. ROSTKER: No, it is. One of the major
18 concerns we have is to our doctrine, our procedures
19 and our policy and our equipment and to integrate all
20 of that as lessons learned for the future. And the
21 issue of false alarms, the issue and the like is
22 important to capture.
1 Some of this has already, since it's six
2 years later much of this ground is not being broken
3 for the first time. You see very positive steps like
4 the new alarms that will not only do mustard but also
5 nerve agents much more sensitive position in terms of
6 our concern for false alarms, battery, problems with
7 the batteries and the filters and all.
8 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Yeah. Oh, I don't
9 question that the --
10 DR. ROSTKER: But it is part of my charge
11 to assess where we are and where we should be going
12 into advise the Secretary of Defense on whether or not
13 further changes need to be made.
14 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: It is part of your
15 charge to -- I see, okay.
16 DR. ROSTKER: Yes, ma'am.
17 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Are there other
18 questions around this part, otherwise I had some other
20 MR. BROWN: Just to follow-up the issue of
21 the M8 alarm, I mean we know it was one of the primary
22 alarms that troops had to alert them to the
1 possibility of chemical attack.
2 Can you give us a sense, I guess it wasn't
3 20 minutes, it was something else, but can you give us
4 a sense, Ms. Davis, about how often the alarm did go
5 off? For false readings or any kind of reading, was it
6 -- if it wasn't once every 20 minutes was it once an
7 hour or something?
8 MS. DAVIS: I don't think we have any
9 aggregate data on that to be perfectly honest with
10 you. I mean we do have reports that range from, and
11 after action reports that range from -- oh, they went
12 off every five minutes to or they sounded, you know,
13 every hour. It was not so much a timing cyclical
14 thing as it was what happened to be in the area.
15 There are reported cases of the alarms
16 being placed too close to vehicles, and so the exhaust
17 from the vehicles was just setting the alarms of on an
18 intermittent basis as the vehicles were moved, for
20 MR. BROWN: But apparently I guess they
21 went off often enough to cause at least some groups to
22 just ignore them. I mean you mentioned the 2nd
1 Armored Infantry Battalion.
2 MS. DAVIS: Right.
3 MR. BROWN: Do you know when they decided
4 to just, at what point they just decided they weren't
5 going to pay any attention to them any more? Was it
7 MS. DAVIS: I'd have to get you that
9 DR. ROSTKER: On Gulf Link in the messages
10 that have been declassified just the key word searcher
11 on M8, and you'll just pick up a lots of hits.
12 MR. BROWN: Lots of hits.
13 DR. ROSTKER: Including the post-war
14 assessments which were universal in the M8 alarm going
15 off because of batteries and the like. So almost in
16 any after action chemical report from any of the
17 Divisions or comments about the M8 alarms in those
19 MR. BROWN: Well, do you have a sense,
20 maybe you could give us the number of batallions that
21 you're aware of that -- or larger size groups that
22 made the decision to ignore them?
1 DR. ROSTKER: Well, sir, I wouldn't know
2 how to, even attempt to get a representation.
3 MR. BROWN: Okay.
4 MS. NISHIMI: Well, sir, along that line
5 the 2nd Batallion indicated that they followed up each
6 M8 with an M256.
7 DR. ROSTKER: Um-huh.
8 MS. NISHIMI: Was this true for all units?
9 Do you have any sense of who did this and who didn't?
10 MS. DAVIS: I would say no, not at this
11 point, except as they reported things afterwards. And
12 we have not done an aggregate look on that.
13 DR. ROSTKER: You have to also break it
14 between peace time -- excuse me, before the ground
15 campaign and during the ground campaign. In the
16 Marine Breaching Operation in the records that relate
17 to that there are numerous cases of M8 alarm going to
18 MOPP gear all-clear sounded.
19 MS. NISHIMI: Um-huh.
20 DR. ROSTKER: And they occur time and time
21 again in the Marine accounting. We have the best data
22 in the way the Marines kept their information that
1 we're able to provide that and --
2 MS. NISHIMI: Well, I mean yes, it was a
3 very absolute statement and that's what I'm trying to
4 get to that statement is that every -- each M8 alarm
5 was checked with an M256.
6 DR. ROSTKER: No, we could not make that
7 statement at all.
8 MS. DAVIS: Well, this is a quote what
9 you're looking at --
10 MS. NISHIMI: Right.
11 MS. DAVIS: -- is a quote from the 2nd --
12 MS. NISHIMI: Yes.
13 MS. DAVIS: -- LAI, Batallion After Action
15 MS. NISHIMI: Yes.
16 MS. DAVIS: We don't have any way of
17 verifying with the 2nd LAI based on documentary
18 records that that is, in fact, a true statement.
19 MS. NISHIMI: Have you interviewed the
20 individual who was behind that statement?
21 MS. DAVIS: I don't know. I would guess
22 not, no. But I don't know for sure, I can find out.
1 MS. NISHIMI: So then it's fair to say
2 that generally, that statement aside, every single M8
3 was probably not checked with an M256?
4 MS. DAVIS: Oh, I'm sure that every single
5 M8 was not checked with the M256.
6 DR. ROSTKER: Also in our Khamisiyah
7 survey where we sent questionnaires to 20,000 people
8 part of the responses were did you hear any alarms and
9 the like. The most serious alarms that I think you
10 have taken serious and we have taken serious to do
11 exactly what you suggested, try to get a handle on
12 each and every one, are the 256 kits and the Fox
13 Vehicle alarms.
14 We've set up procedures to try to locate
15 people who would have knowledge of each and every one
16 of those alarms. In many cases we'll have a log entry
17 and we don't know who was there. It's an extended
18 period of time -- know the apparent unit. We're in
19 the process of sending postcards to active duty
20 members to see if anyone has information on this
21 specific alarm.
22 I say active duty members because we have
1 to yet work out with OMB procedures for veterans, but
2 we can immediately send to active duty members and we
3 have initiated that on every 256 kit and Fox Vehicle
4 alarm to try to build a full repository of
6 MR. TURNER: So if I understand it right,
7 Dr. Rostker, every M8 alarm was not tested with the
8 256 afterwards, so you're not in a position today to
9 categorically state that every M8 alarm was a fault
11 DR. ROSTKER: No.
12 MR. TURNER: Okay. Now the flipside of
13 that is you do have some M8 alarms that were followed
14 with positive 256 kits, at least reported that are in
15 your investigative portfolio?
16 DR. ROSTKER: Um-huh.
17 MR. TURNER: Do you currently view those
18 as positive detections or not, where you have the two
19 methods an M256 verifying M8 alarm?
20 DR. ROSTKER: I think it goes to the basic
21 methodology that we are following that follows into
22 national protocols, and that methodology which you're
1 familiar with requires a range of confirmatory
2 information. And that's what we're putting together
3 to make a judgement of whether or not there was an
4 exposure or how certain we would be of that exposure.
5 But we certainly are investigating all of
6 the -- or trying to get information on all of the 256
7 and Fox Vehicle readings.
8 MR. TURNER: As I understand it there are
9 also some instances where you have one or more
10 positive 256 kit detections followed then by a
11 negative of some period of time later. And that's
12 according to doctrine, as I understand the doctrine
13 the way the 256 is supposed to be used if you get a
14 positive you go into MOPP and you keep testing --
15 DR. ROSTKER: No, excuse me. You should
16 be in a MOPP first.
17 MR. TURNER: First, yes. I stand
18 corrected, thank you.
19 DR. ROSTKER: Then you do a 256 if it's
20 positive you stay in MOPP, and then you do another 256
21 you don't come out of MOPP until you have an all-clear
22 on a 256.
1 MR. TURNER: The reason I framed it the
2 way I did is I believe there's some cases where there
3 were not M8 alarms around so the 256 may have been the
4 first indication that people had. But be that as it
5 may you have positive 256's followed by negative, a
6 negative 256 sometime later.
7 What's your analytical framework for that?
8 How do you assess whether that first detection isn't
9 positive or is positive in some kind of conclusionary
10 way based on that doctrinal approach that you keep
11 doing 256 kits until you get a negative?
12 LT. COLONEL NALLS: If you would put slide
13 53 up, please. First of all the 256 kit is used
14 actually for the unmasking. Once chemical agents are
15 suspected from any source -- I know this is a
16 difficult slide to read, but once chemical agents are
17 suspected from any source the response is to attain a
18 protective posture.
19 Put your mask on if you've got it. If
20 you're in MOPP 2 you upgrade to MOPP 4 to try to
21 protect the people. Then trained people take out an
22 M256 kit and -- which is a mini-lab kit, little
1 science kit and perform those tests. And if that
2 becomes, if that is positive then he pulls out a kit
3 and does another one.
4 He stays in the MOPP gear until they get
5 clean 256 indications that there are no chemical
6 agents present. Now to determine whether or not any
7 of those were valid detections or not it's a tough
8 thing to do because we didn't save all of the 256
10 They may not have been logged in, there's
11 no -- and a 256 kit is not user friendly. It is
12 possible to mess it up, especially at night if it's
13 raining, under oil well smoke, and a lot of conditions
14 that were prevalent on the battlefields. So the
15 potential for human error in the 256 is fairly high.
16 But you asked what methodology we would
17 use, this is the methodology that we use and we
18 consider things not in the context of whether it was
19 a positive 256 or whether it was M8 alarm, but
20 everything that was going on around it. And this is
21 exactly the protocol that chemical officers are
22 trained to use, is a unit under attack.
1 MR. TURNER: Yeah. I think we're all
2 familiar with that.
3 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Okay.
4 MR. TURNER: And maybe I've not honed in
5 what the issue is. That is a battlefield U.N. base
6 procedure that is used, and no one questions its
7 utility for making four space decisions. In the
8 context of possible health impacts of -- and low level
9 exposures, what I'm trying to raise is looking for
10 additional confirmatory evidence so long after the
11 fact, the appropriate approach when you have objective
12 evidence that is doctrinally based that is
13 contemporaneous with the exposure.
14 DR. ROSTKER: I think the answer is you'll
15 have to read our case narrative and make a judgement
16 in each individual case. I don't think I can
17 speculate. We'll have to see what case it is and what
18 conclusions we come to. We certainly consider 256
19 positive tests a significant event. We're committed,
20 as you are, to make an inquiry on that, but I have to
21 say that we'll have to look at each of the ones and
22 see how we make that based on the evidence.
1 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Let me follow up on
2 that particular point. Obviously each case narrative
3 you're going to look at the material and come to some
4 decision. Do you have any kind of criteria that you
5 can lay out and say as we do this case narrative here
6 the criteria we want in order to come to this
8 I know you say well, take a common sense
9 approach, but common sense to one person and common
10 sense to another can be quite different. And it's
11 nice to have some objective criteria, check list or
13 DR. ROSTKER: And this represents our
14 objective criteria, but because common sense can be
15 different to each it is very important that we present
16 all of the information to the veterans, to the
17 American public, to you. Me making a judgement one
18 way or another ultimately is still my judgement.
19 The important thing is that that judgement
20 be made with information that you can assess and draw
21 a conclusion one way or the other. It's not only an
22 issue of exposure which has some implication for
1 health or for compensation, but the most important
2 thing is what it means for our doctrine and how we
3 posture our troops for the future.
4 And in that regard it's important that we
5 fully understand the event, we put it altogether and
6 we move the Defense Department to a point where it is
7 protecting our troops to an appropriate extent given
8 our understanding of the emerging future battlefield.
9 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Do I understand from
10 your answer to the question about the common sense,
11 your case narratives will really lay out all the
12 information you have without coming to a conclusion,
13 or you'll come to your conclusion but indicate others
14 -- have enough information to come to their own
16 DR. ROSTKER: Exactly. In the case
17 narrative will be a discussion of this chart and the
18 general methodology of corroboration and why that is
19 important. There will also be in the case narratives
20 a discussion of the range of possibilities from
21 absolutely no to absolutely yes. And at the end of a
22 section, for example the section on the Marine
1 Breaching the activities of the 1st Marine Division,
2 we will come to the best of our ability a statement
3 that we believe that it was likely or unlikely, along
4 a spectrum.
5 But you will have all of the information
6 that we possibly can have. That's one reason that
7 we've not only documented the reports with footnotes.
8 If you go into Gulf Link you can get the source
9 document for all of the footnotes. That's the marbles
10 of the internet, you don't have to go to the library
11 to find out what we're citing. The page is right
12 there, you can read the same source document you can
13 read the same lead sheet, interview sheet.
14 We have now solved our problem, so you can
15 read the name of the individual, but the American
16 public can read the interview sheet with the name of
17 the reporting person blanked out and see exactly what
18 we were told and are in our files, so that they can
19 make the same judgement.
20 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Once more on that and
21 then I think we need to go on. When you make your
22 judgement, which you will do in the narrative, and
1 granted you will have all this background, you will
2 have certain criteria for making that judgement, will
3 you lay those out explicit in each case narrative? In
4 other words sort of inconclusion because A, B, C, D,
5 we have come to the conclusion that it is most likely
6 that or it is not.
7 DR. ROSTKER: Yes.
8 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: And if we look at it
9 and say huh, but what about E, F, G, I think I would
10 decide that is possible from the narrative.
11 DR. ROSTKER: Yes. But I, as a
12 researcher, I would say if I get to that part of the
13 paper and there are surprises, something's wrong with
14 the paper that I have written so that the information
15 that would allow you to understand our rational has to
16 be laid out in the paper. There should be no
17 surprises in the conclusions.
18 And so it is very important in the way we
19 structured this to be absolutely neutral and objective
20 in the presentation of the material, and lay all of it
21 out to the best of our knowledge we'll make a call.
22 But you need to be comfortable in making your own
2 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay.
3 DR. ROSTKER: Let me give you a trivial
4 but significant issue. Some of our slides on Al
5 Jubayl had said "sonic boom," and we all understood
6 that. I took it to the staff and said change that to
7 "loud noise." Sonic boom is a conclusion. You can't
8 label a case objectively with the conclusion that
9 others may not agree with.
10 And so we're trying to be absolutely
11 objective in the way we present all of the
12 information, and then it should be clear on how we
13 have assessed that information and whether or not
14 there was a likely exposure or not likely exposure or
15 definite exposure, etcetera.
16 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Well, it seems to me
17 it's a logical time to move on and hear about Al
18 Jubayl and the 11th Marines.
19 MS. LARSON: Could I ask one question
21 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Sure.
22 MS. LARSON: About you mentioned the Garth
1 Nicolson investigation, would you be more specific
2 when you say that NIH is going oversee it, what does
3 that mean?
4 DR. ROSTKER: We had some discussions with
5 Congressman Norm Dicks about all of this, and we
6 agreed that because of the tensions that have existed
7 between Dr. Nicolson's (inaudible word) sub the
8 medical community in terms of Walter Reed and in terms
9 of CDC that we would look for an acceptable
10 professional neutral observer not caught up in the
12 We agreed on NIH and they agreed to take
13 that position. There have been a series of meetings
14 between the DOD Team with NIH and Dr. Nicolson to
15 establish and agree upon a protocol. We will fund
16 that protocol, we will involve a number of additional
17 labs. And NIH will be in a position to overlook this
18 and make sure the results are objective and not bias.
19 MS. LARSON: Well, what I mean is NIH is
20 a big huge thousands of employees -- what do you mean?
21 DR. ROSTKER: Sure, I can --
22 MS. LARSON: Which office or -- not
1 through the Peer Review process, not through the usual
2 mechanism. So what is it?
3 DR. ROSTKER: Let me provide you
4 specifically with the name of the office of the
5 individual who has been involved in this in this
6 oversight capacity. I just don't have that.
7 MS. LARSON: I think it's important for
8 both sides for the scientific side to make sure that
9 that's rigorous and also for the vets to make sure
10 because there's a sense of distrust about, you know --
11 DR. ROSTKER: Absolutely. All of us.
12 MS. LARSON: Yes. So we need to make sure
13 that we understand Dr. Nicolson's work is being fairly
14 monitored and reviewed on the one hand, and also heard
15 fairly on the other hand.
16 DR. ROSTKER: Absolutely.
17 MS. LARSON: It's really important I
18 think. Thanks.
19 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay. Marguerite?
20 MS. KNOX: Just to follow that I want to
21 thank you for that, but also I would ask that you
22 publish that in the Persian Gulf Review so that
1 veterans are made aware of it who are on the Persian
2 Gulf Registry.
3 DR. ROSTKER: Okay, absolutely. We'll
4 provide an update on Gulf Link and through the VA to
5 their publications and others. We'll absolutely do
7 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Mark?
8 MR. BROWN: Just a quick question. Both
9 you Dr. Rostker and you, Ms. Davis mentioned that
10 you're doing a field trip soon to the Middle East
11 visiting several different countries. And I thought
12 I understood you to say that this was for the purpose
13 of trying to do some exposure assessments. You
14 mentioned specifically pesticides. Did I
15 misunderstand that? Do you expect to be able to visit
16 the Middle East now and be able to come to some
17 conclusions about what pesticides are --
18 DR. ROSTKER: We're interested in, for
19 example, what our procedures were in pesticides in
20 terms of how -- what was contracted out, what were the
21 procedures normally by the Saudi's and the like. The
22 British have collected a lot of information on this
1 and we'll be talking to --
2 MR. BROWN: Did we use Saudi contractors?
3 Did the U.S. use Saudi contractors?
4 DR. ROSTKER: I believe we did but we're
5 still trying to assess that. And, again, try to gain
6 some information that our records are not complete
7 here. The issue is every place I go people ask about
8 the health of the indigenous population and local
9 disease and the like. And this will be an attempt to
10 gain --
11 MR. BROWN: So the primary purpose of this
12 field trip is to what then? I guess I --
13 DR. ROSTKER: I think the purpose of all
14 of the field trips are to make sure that we are not
15 missing anything significant facts that would be
16 available if we only went to Kuwait and understood
17 that they are having a problem.
18 DOD has done this before, but in taking on
19 this charter I made it very clear from the beginning
20 that I was not going to, and my organization was not
21 going to be just well, so and so did that two years
22 ago and I don't have to do that. So we're plowing a
1 lot of ground that has been plowed before to make sure
2 that, as the President said we're leaving no stone
4 MR. BROWN: Thank you.
5 MS. LARSON: And I'm sorry, one -- backing
6 just one more thing about the microplasma research.
7 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Sure.
8 MS. LARSON: There is an important time
9 element here because you said -- just a sense of when
10 it's going to be done. It can't take that long to
11 test all these serum samples. The reason is because
12 I have a major concern for people being on these
13 antibiotics for years, I mean that's not without risk.
14 And it seems to me that if we don't
15 demonstrate whether or not, in fact, there is some
16 efficacy here we are doing a dis-service. Either the
17 Doxycycline or the Cipro, whatever people are on is
18 helpful or it is harmful. And we have to establish
19 that quickly.
20 DR. ROSTKER: I agree, and we have pressed
21 the researchers to take that into consideration.
22 We're talking about periods of six to nine months.
1 And I worry about that even being too long, but I'm
2 not a medical researcher as you know and I have to bow
3 to their assessments of how long it takes to set up
4 the procedures.
5 Part of the problem here is not just doing
6 blood samples but setting up the independent
7 laboratories with the procedures that have been
8 pioneered by Dr. Nicolson to see how -- and that means
9 teaching new procedures to a number of new
10 laboratories. And I think that's part of the time
11 delay in this.
12 MS. LARSON: Okay. Well, I for one then
13 I imagine we can do this with your staff, would like
14 to see the protocols for --
15 DR. ROSTKER: Yes, I would encourage you
16 to do that and welcome you to visit Walter Reed in
17 that regard.
18 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: We will certainly
19 follow up. Joan?
20 MS. PORTER: You mentioned that you were
21 planning trips to Czechoslovakia and Paris. Will you
22 also meet with your British colleagues?
1 DR. ROSTKER: Yes. We've already had one
2 team with the British about three weeks ago. And this
3 is also a two-way exchange. We feel an obligation to
4 share with our foreign colleagues the work we're doing
5 on Khamisiyah and this trip will be after the
6 reporting date to the Committee.
7 And part of the trips will be to talk to
8 them about what we found about potential exposure at
9 Khamisiyah also.
10 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay.
11 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Okay. I think we're
12 on slide number 19.
13 Good afternoon, I'm Lt. Colonel Art Nalls
14 and I'm pleased to be here today to provide a status
15 update of several of our investigations that you've
17 The first on the list is the Al Jubayl
18 investigation, and I would like to preface it with a
19 comment that I know there's some people in the
20 audience who were at Al Jubayl, I heard their
21 testimony this morning. And hopefully this can shed
22 some light on some of the questions they might have
1 and give us a little better understanding of what
2 happened there.
3 And I'd also like to say that we did
4 change some of our slides from the draft slides that
5 we provided you last week. We feel that most of those
6 help to clarify the slides and aren't really
7 substantive changes, but the other one that Dr.
8 Rostker briefly eluded to the word "sonic boom," does
9 imply a conclusion. I'll speak to that today. We
10 kept it in quotation marks so that you could
11 understand that that's what you specifically asked us
12 to explain and you used those terms.
13 The Al Jubayl case that we have under
14 investigation is actually four major areas. There are
15 three parts that are events. The first part is a loud
16 noise, which a lot of people have called "sonic boom."
17 That happened in January. In February there was a
18 SCUD impact in the harbor of the Port of Al Jubayl,
19 and in March there was what's been referred to as the
20 Purple T-Shirt incident.
21 Three separate incidents separated by
22 approximately a month each. Some of the original
1 testimony that we heard from people before a
2 Congressional Committees and whatnot indicated to us
3 that they might be one single event, but it was only
4 after we did some investigation into the operational
5 logs that we were able to separate them into three
6 separate events. And I think that has been a point of
7 confusion in some people's mind.
8 What you've asked for today is our
9 investigation into what we've called the "loud noise"
10 at the Port of Al Jubayl. We also have other reports
11 from veterans at the time who suspected that that was
12 a SCUD, that that loud noise was due to a SCUD and
13 that it was intercepted over Al Jubayl during the
14 period of 19 to 21 January, '91.
15 And there were reports from members of the
16 Sea-Bees, a Naval Mobile Construction Batallion,
17 claiming possible chemical agent injuries from that
18 SCUD impact. The investigation was initiated from the
19 Persian Gulf Investigation Team and based on testimony
20 that appeared before Senator Riegle's Committee.
21 There were numerous reports of these
22 incidents, the primary one being the Riegle Report,
1 much of which is anecdotal reports of the events and
2 as I said before that led us to initially believe that
3 it was one single event. However we think we have
4 information to prove otherwise now, and we've
5 separated it, and our report addresses that.
6 We have also reports from the Sea-Bees
7 Command Post logs, various newspaper articles and
8 television reports and numerous anecdotal reports that
9 appear on Gulf Links. Our interviews have been
10 centered on people from these units. These were the
11 primary players that were there. We have the NMCB-24,
12 which is a CB unit. Also NMCB-40, which is a CB unit,
13 Coast Guard unit, Port Security unit 301 ALPHA, and
14 301 BRAVO, and a Marine Corps Aviation Group which is
16 And the type of people that we interviewed
17 from those groups are people who were in a position to
18 know, and they were either duty officers, they were
19 NBC personnel, they were medical personnel, they were
20 personnel in the chain of command, people who had
21 reason to know if there were any significant events
22 that came to light.
1 And also selected assigned personnel,
2 people who were in the area that we got leads on from
3 people who testified. When they suggested we should
4 talk to so and so and whatnot we followed those up.
5 So we had not just selectively picked people, we've
6 tried to get a comprehensive investigation interview
7 plan that covered everybody who was likely to be in a
8 position to know something.
9 Where we are on evidence collected to-date
10 and the people that we've selected to interview, as
11 I've said would be people who had some -- who would
12 have had knowledge of a significant event in that
13 area. From either NBC perspective or related medical
14 reports and we've also taken referrals from people who
15 suggested we should seek out a certain individual who
16 were in the area.
17 And we've also gone back and followed up
18 on all public testimony from the Riegle Report and
19 people who testified before this Committee.
20 The events in January appear to be two
21 actual events. There was one on the night of the 19th
22 which was a bright light and a loud noise, and one on
1 the next night that appeared to be some sort of SCUD
2 impact. And a lot of people have confused the two and
3 combined the two. We think that they're separate.
4 The problem with most of the
5 investigations since it was anecdotal evidence is the
6 eye-witness accounts seem to be contradictory and we
7 haven't been able to confirm them. And when we say
8 "confirmed," what we've done is we've gone back and
9 looked at the patriot data base from the patriot
10 missile batteries, we've looked at AWACS data tapes
11 that are still available, and that is a piece of hard
13 And we've also had some SCUD reports of
14 the SCUD missiles that were fired and their projected
15 impact. So those types are the types of information
16 that we've gone back to try to either confirm or match
17 up with the anecdotal information.
18 We are still looking for evidence. This
19 is still an open investigation. We have some
20 recollections of personnel who were assigned to the CB
21 units. We are still looking for confirmation of a
22 SCUD intercept over the Port of Al Jubayl, either it
1 did or it did not occur. And we have yet to find any
2 confirmation of any positive chemical agent detections
3 associated with the loud noise.
4 I'd like to point out though that although
5 there are some anecdotal reports of people who said
6 that they were personally involved with positive 256
7 detections and other detections of chemical agents,
8 we've yet to be able to find any note in the logs that
9 indicate that, that confirm it.
10 So where we are right now today we don't
11 believe that it was SCUD activity in the vicinity of
12 Al Jubayl on the 19th, and that is from the SCUD
13 Report there wasn't one fired, and that patriot
14 battery logs don't show that any missiles were
15 launched to intercept it on the 19th.
16 However, the loud noise, according to
17 AWACS tapes and according to interviews of MAG-13
18 personnel and people who were in a position to know
19 about aircraft movements suggested to us that it was
20 a sonic boom caused by two aircraft flying directly
21 over the port. And there was a very good reason for
1 Al Jubayl also had a long range aid to
2 navagation station at the same -- in the general
3 vicinity there and that would have been a common
4 navagational system update point for air cruise. So
5 it would be entirely conceivable and consistent with
6 rules that they would fly over that point, update
7 their navagation systems and then they would proceed
8 at a high rate of speed, either to the war or coming
9 back from the war.
10 So that appears in our mind to be logical
11 and that was born out by interviews from MAG-13. So
12 on the 19th of January we think that that was a sonic
13 boom due to two aircraft transcending over the Port of
14 Al Jubayl. And our Narrative Report addresses that in
15 considerably more detail and has some graphics to show
16 the actual track of the aircraft at the time from the
17 AWACS tape, match up very closely.
18 And as to the bright light in the sky
19 there was some people -- the bright light that some
20 people had reported on the evening of the 20th and the
21 21st we're still looking to determine whether or not
22 a SCUD was impacted on that particular night. We have
1 some data that indicates a patriot was fired, and that
2 a patriot intercepted a SCUD at very high altitude and
3 that could possibly account for that.
4 But we're still looking into that. We're
5 trying to match this up completely. And the status of
6 this report is that we have an Interium Report that
7 tells what we know about the other areas, not just the
8 sonic boom, and that is in coordination for release
9 right now.
10 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Do you have a
11 projected release date for that?
12 DR. ROSTKER: I think it should be very
13 soon. By the end of July.
14 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: The end of July,
15 okay. Do we want to take questions on Al Jubayl now
16 and then go on to the 11th Marines, or do we want to
17 wait for -- why don't we take the questions on Al
18 Jubayl right now.
19 Al Jubayl is the one we went over the
20 report before. We don't have any questions on that.
21 MR. CASSELLS: Yes, I have a couple here.
22 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay.
1 DR. ROSTKER: Yes, sir.
2 MR. CASSELLS: Just to clarify it in my
3 own mind. You're reporting three loud noises, one on
4 the 19th, one on 20, 21 and then another one in
5 February in the harbor.
6 LT. COLONEL NALLS: No. When I said there
7 were three events January, February and March, the
8 January one appears to be a loud noise, bright light.
9 They happened at night. It would be easy in my mind
10 to accept that someone could confuse the two.
11 MR. CASSELLS: And lump them as one?
12 LT. COLONEL NALLS: And lump them as one.
13 And possible confusing remembering the exact date and
14 things along that line. There are the three events,
15 the one in January which was as we just said was the
16 sonic boom and --
17 MR. LONGBRAKE: Can we put up that slide
18 again? The document at the various incidents.
19 LT. COLONEL NALLS: I spoke to this slide,
20 slide 20, I didn't -- the slide didn't address all of
21 the parts of our Al Jubayl investigations. As I said
22 there were three major events that our Al Jubayl
1 investigation covers, one in January, one in February
2 and one in March, separated by a month.
3 There's actually a fourth area that our
4 report addresses, and that's the environmental
5 concerns around the Al Jubayl area since it was a
6 heavily industrialized city. Our report covers all
7 four of those areas, the part that these slides
8 address today. But I can answer some questions on some
9 the other areas is the event that happened in January
10 which was the loud noise.
11 And in the words of the MAG-13 commander
12 who was there and assessed it to be a sonic boom based
13 on information available to him and that we've since
14 confirmed, he said it was the loudest sonic boom he
15 had ever heard. And sonic boom intensity increases
16 with speed and low altitude. The higher up you are
17 the less you hear the boom. If an airplane went super
18 sonic at low altitude it would virtually break every
19 piece of glass.
20 MS. NISHIMI: So the 19th is the date for
21 which the AWACS date applies?
22 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Yes, ma'am.
1 MS. NISHIMI: Some of the witnesses also
2 recall seeing a mist associated with this January 19th
3 date. Is that not correct?
4 LT. COLONEL NALLS: There were some
5 reports of various mist and whatnot, and I think that
6 that probably goes with the SCUD impact into the
7 harbor a month later.
8 MS. LARSON: Now you just said something
9 happened on the 20th and that the patriot --
10 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Yes, ma'am. Something
11 happened --
12 MS. LARSON: -- so the 19th you're talking
13 about the boom, the 20th is a loud noise.
14 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Okay. We --
15 MS. NISHIMI: Our reading of the narrative
16 is that, in fact, there was a mist associated with
17 January 19th, and so I'm wondering if you've accounted
18 for this mist, given that we now have AWACS data that
19 indicates it's a sonic boom.
20 LT. COLONEL NALLS: I can't explain that.
21 I don't have that right at my finger tips. The mist
22 that I was associating with, possibly the SCUD impact
1 in the harbor, a mist could be explained there I
3 MS. NISHIMI: As?
4 LT. COLONEL NALLS: As part of the
5 contents of the SCUD. The SCUD on the 19th and 20th
6 I don't think any mist would reach the ground because
7 the altitude was sufficiently high -- I mean the 20th
8 and 21st. It was sufficiently high, I don't think any
9 mist would reach the ground.
10 MS. PORTER: But I believe on the 19th
11 there were some persons who reported seeing a mist in
12 the air. And I wondered how that was being followed or
13 described or accounted for.
14 DR. ROSTKER: We can't account for it.
15 MS. PORTER: Focusing on this January time
16 frame there are really three incidents perhaps in the
17 January incident. What about the 21st, if the 19th is
18 associated with possibly sonic boom, the 20th with
19 SCUD impacts or SCUD destruction intercepts --
20 LT. COLONEL NALLS: A SCUD intercept
21 possibly, which could explain the light in the sky
22 that some people had associated.
1 MS. PORTER: What about the events in the
2 early morning hours of the 21st of January, 1991?
3 LT. COLONEL NALLS: I think they're all
4 the same event, the 20th and 21st since it happened at
6 MS. PORTER: But there are two separate
7 incidents, the 20th, as I understand it might be
8 associated with SCUD intercepts. But is there an
9 explaination for the 21st, the early morning hours
10 they reported separately, could there have been
11 perhaps --
12 LT. COLONEL NALLS: No, I think it's the
13 same event. I think there's confusion over the date
14 when it happened.
15 MS. PORTER: Is it possible that there are
16 different timing issues in the logs?
17 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Oh, absolutely.
18 Because of the way some of the logs are kept, whether
19 they're kept at local time or whether they're kept in
20 -- and they're not clearly indicated in some of the
22 MS. KNOX: Is there documentation though
1 that there were two patriots sent, one on the 20th and
2 one on the 21st?
3 LT. COLONEL NALLS: There is documentation
4 that a patriot was fired on the evening of -- I think
5 it's the 20th.
6 MS. KNOX: Yes.
7 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Okay. And I think it
8 was assessed to be highly probable that it intercepted
9 something at very high altitude.
10 MS. DAVIS: Which would cause a loud
12 LT. COLONEL NALLS: It would cause a
13 noise. The altitude was very high. It's actually a
14 classified altitude that's why I'm talking around it.
15 I'm not sure how loud of noise it would have caused,
16 I'm not sure -- I don't believe a mist would have
17 fallen to the ground directly below it. I think
18 people would have seen the bright light. And I think
19 that would have accounted for the bright light people
21 MS. KNOX: Why do you think, Colonel Nall,
22 that the mist would not have fallen?
1 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Because of the
2 distance, the altitude.
3 MS. KNOX: So even though it would have
4 fallen eventually you just don't think it would have
5 fallen right below it?
6 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Wouldn't have fallen
7 there either. I think it would have fallen some place
8 way down range. And that's because -- I'll be glad to
9 share that information with you in the proper form.
10 I don't think it's appropriate for me to be addressing
11 that here publicly.
12 And that is not because we're trying to
13 hide anything or cover up anything, but it has to go
14 with a system capability that is currently being used
15 by our Armed Forces, and I think that information is
17 MS. PORTER: Is there any evidence of SCUD
18 impact sites during this time period?
19 LT. COLONEL NALLS: The 19th or the 20th?
20 In January?
21 MS. PORTER: Yes, in this area.
22 LT. COLONEL NALLS: No.
1 MS. PORTER: Would it be standard
2 operating procedure to try to look for those sites and
3 determine what was in the SCUDS and where they hit?
4 LT. COLONEL NALLS: I could be anywhere
5 over a very large area. It depends on how big a
6 pieces fall. The one that fell in the harbor in
7 February, for instance, came down virtually as one
8 piece. The patriot was just enough to -- or whatever,
9 it came down in virtually one piece.
10 As a patriot intercepts a missile it could
11 be a lot of small pieces, in which case it would be
12 scattered over a very large area, it could be just
13 enough to knock it off course and it could come down
14 virtually intact. It depends on lots of things.
15 MS. PORTER: But for this particular
16 incident in January there have been no locations of
17 impact sites or debris?
18 LT. COLONEL NALLS: None, no, ma'am.
19 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Any other questions
20 on the Al Jubayl? Have a couple more over there and
21 then we'll have to take a lunch break.
22 MR. CASSELLS: Have you been able to
1 locate the source of the aircraft responsible for the
2 sonic boom?
3 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Yes. We think it's
4 coalition aircraft, possibly two -- most probably two
5 British Toronados which are super sonic capable
7 MR. CASSELLS: Have you been able to go
8 all the way back to the unit level or to the pilot
9 level to determine that, in fact, they were there?
10 LT. COLONEL NALLS: We have data from the
11 Air Tasking Order that assigned a mission to coalition
12 forces on that particular day at that particular time,
13 and that was validated by the AWACS tape. So, no, we
14 have not gone all the way back to the pilots to verify
15 that yes, were you the one that actually flew this
16 one, flew this mission, no, we haven't done that.
17 DR. ROSTKER: At that point then we can
18 raise that with our colleagues in Britain.
19 MR. TURNER: Was there something in the
20 mission task that would --
21 LT. COLONEL NALLS: We also have the --
22 I'm sorry, I missed the last --
1 MR. TURNER: Go ahead and answer that.
2 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Dr. Rostker just asked
3 me if we could get the speed off the AWACS tapes. And
4 our narrative addresses the speed, and it is also
5 confirmed to be super sonic, over 700 miles an hour.
6 MR. TURNER: Is there something in the Air
7 Tasking that would suggest the reason for that kind of
8 flight profile over a populated area?
9 LT. COLONEL NALLS: I don't know. I
10 haven't -- there could very well be.
11 MR. TURNER: Seems to me --
12 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Air Tasking Orders
13 give a time and place where people have to be, and
14 they might have had to use super sonic speed in order
15 to cover the distance to be there on time.
16 MR. TURNER: Do you plan to interview the
17 personnel who were responsible, actually flying the
19 LT. COLONEL NALLS: That was a point I
20 think Dr. Rostker just brought up. We can research
21 that with our --
22 MR. TURNER: Yeah. Not looking at the
1 tapes but interviewing the pilots.
2 DR. ROSTKER: Understand.
3 MR. TURNER: Okay.
4 MR. BROWN: Colonel Nalls, you mentioned
5 that some of the troops at the site at Al Jubayl could
6 have been exposed to the contents of one of these
7 SCUDS that had gone over there. Could you explain
8 what you mean by that? What do you mean by "exposed
9 to the contents?"
10 LT. COLONEL NALLS: The oxidizer on a SCUD
11 is red fuming nitric acid and hydrazine, which are
12 both hazardous materials. They're not chemical
13 warfare agents but they are hazardous materials in
14 their own rite. Hydrazine is used in some U.S.
15 airplanes and red fuming nitric acid, I think, has
16 hazards associated with it.
17 And that, since the missile came down in
18 the harbor essentially intact and split open when it
19 hit the water that could explain any remmants that
20 were in the fuel tank being aerosolized.
21 MR. BROWN: Thank you.
22 LT. COLONEL NALLS: And it was close
1 enough to other --
2 DR. ROSTKER: Moreover that would be
3 characteristic or would result in the kinds of burning
4 to people -- and immediate eye irritation. Sometimes
5 this has been confused with mustard. But as I know
6 you know mustard, the symptoms don't appear for some
7 period of time.
8 And we'll cover that in the Fisher case,
9 which we'll also be publishing soon. That's one of
10 the keys to the Fisher being declared a mustard event,
11 so some of the other accounts where people have said
12 it's mustard because my skin itched. That's not
13 characteristic of a blistering agent of mustard. But
14 it would be characteristic, being exposed to nitric
15 acid that had been vaporized because it was coming
17 That's one of the issues we want to raise
18 with the Israeli's who had a number, as you well know,
19 a number of SCUDS blowing up over their territory, and
20 how did their population, who were in Tel Aviv and
21 other cities who were under attack, did they have any
22 fall-out from that they attributed to the oxidizer,
1 the oxidation agent in this, which would not
2 necessarily be recorded as a chemical agent but might
3 be significant in our inquiries. And that's one of
4 the questions we have with them.
5 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Joan?
6 MS. PORTER: Since you raised the events
7 of February and March, these SCUD in the harbor impact
8 and the Purple T-Shirt incident, can you say with a
9 fair amount of certainty based on what information,
10 evidence and analyses that there is no chemical
11 warfare agents associated with these events?
12 LT. COLONEL NALLS: With the SCUD we can
13 say with absolute certainty we recovered the entire,
14 virtually the entire SCUD from the fuel tank, from the
15 rocket motor and the warhead. We still have it. And
16 we can say with absolute certainty that it was not
17 chemical warfare agent in that particular SCUD.
18 As to the other events of the Purple
19 T-Shirts the narrative draws several points of
20 suggesting a chemical release from -- because it was
21 an industrialized area, that it could have caused a
22 reaction with the dyes in the T-shirts. It was a
1 fertilizer factory that was in the Al Jubayl area.
2 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay. I think that
3 should wrap this part up. And I think we'll take our
4 break for lunch now and then resume with you, Colonel
5 Nalls, on the Marine Breaching. We will resume at
6 2:00 o'clock.
7 Off the record.
8 (Whereupon, at 12:50 P.M. a luncheon break
9 ensued to reconvene at 2:00 P.M.)
1 A-F-T-E-R-N-O-O-N S-E-S-S-I-O-N
2 (2:05 p.m.)
3 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: We're back to our
4 permanent panel for the day, the 11th Marine
5 Breaching. Go ahead, Colonel Nall.
6 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Okay, our next
7 investigation that we'll give you a status update is
8 on the 11th Marines.
9 Sort of like Al Jubayl the 11th Marine
10 Investigation does not cover a single event but covers
11 a collection of incidents that happened over a period
12 of time centered around the ground war. There were
13 five artillery batallions that were task organized as
14 the 11th Marines during the war, and the total during
15 the four days of the ground war had some 20 chemical
17 If you expand that back to a couple of
18 days prior to the war the number goes up to about 25.
19 And some of these were initiated by the 11th Marines.
20 Some appear to have been initiated by adjacent units
21 and the 11th Marines responded to it.
22 Now the last -- on this first part here
1 all events were where the 11th Marines upgraded the
2 MOPP level were determined at the time to be a false
3 alarm. And I think that's what I quoted in testimony
4 a year ago, and it was brought up a month ago. So
5 that was their assessment.
6 And the whole nature of our investigation
7 is to go back and determine was that the correct
8 assessment. We were wrestling with the idea of what
9 we would consider a confirmed chemical agent exposure.
10 And these various incidents concerning the 11th
11 Marines have combinations of different detectors being
12 used, some possibly triggered by Fox Vehicles, some
13 triggered by 256 kit tests and whatnot.
14 So we've got different types of technology
15 responding to something in the area and that's why
16 we're investigating it to determine if the assessments
17 made at the time were the correct assessment. This was
18 initiated by the PG -- based on earlier review of the
19 256 and Fox incidents, but we've expanded it.
20 This is a graphic of the alarms that are
21 -- that we are aware of that happened with the 11th
22 Marines and adjacent units over a period of time. The
1 top line and the bottom line are days of the months of
2 January and February, and you can see there were
3 alarms around the 17th, 18th and 19th, and again on
4 the 29th and the 30th. And then the shaded areas
5 there are the four days of the ground war expanded,
6 and then that is further broken down by hours. And I
7 know those numbers are tough to read but it goes from
8 000 -- correction, 0100 to 2400 in the rough time
10 And in those four days of the ground war
11 there are some 20 events. And as I said they were
12 assessed at the time by the NBC people who were in the
13 position to evaluate all the information that came to
14 them. They were assessed to be false alarms. But the
15 pattern that they had so many and by reading the logs
16 it appears to be confusing.
17 Truly the fog of war where there's an
18 alarm and then very shortly afterwards someone says
19 no, that wasn't an alarm, all-clear, followed
20 immediately by another alarm, by an all-clear. And
21 that's what we're investigating.
22 Reports from the 1st Marine Division
1 Chronologies reported the most important incidents,
2 but we've got reports from other sources too that were
3 shown on that past graphic. We've got NBC Officer and
4 NCO logs yielded corroboration of an additional
5 material. We have some of the yellow canaries which
6 are the NBC Reports that are passed up the chain of
7 command, the actual handwritten documents stating
8 there was an NBC something, and numerous other Gulf
9 Link sources.
10 And our investigator has collated all
11 these into that previous graphic you just saw.
12 We've interviewed 1st Marine positions for
13 each event, and issues to prob. Those have been
14 identified and we have some names and we have some
15 contact information. That last bullet though where it
16 says "Interviews to begin in the future," is somewhat
17 misleading and I'd like to clarify that.
18 All of the Marine Corps investigations are
19 in some way related, at least at the upper levels of
20 the chain of command, with the divisional, the
21 regimental NBC Officers, and we've talked to quite a
22 few of those. Some of them seem to be related through
1 the Fox crews that we've talked to since they were
2 adjacent units and may, in fact, have been the source
3 of some of these initial alarms.
4 So as this investigator has not
5 specifically started talking to -- gotten down to the
6 nitty gritty to the people who were involved in these
7 individual incidents we have a good amount of
8 anecdotal information and interview data from people
9 that we've talked to who were in the upper levels of
10 the chain of command.
11 Again all the incidents were considered at
12 the time to be false alarms, and we're facing the same
13 problems of determining confirmation or making an
14 assessment of some of these things as we do with the
15 other incidents. And, again, they must be considered
16 in the greater context, not just an isolated event
17 because a lot of the evidence is just clearly not
19 The 256 kits were not kept, Fox tapes were
20 not kept, and I think there were some Fox Reports that
21 intermixed with some of these things. Casualties,
22 injuries and samples weren't kept or taken.
1 We're still seeking evidence though. It's
2 an open investigation, and one of the key points here
3 is to try to determine who sounded the all-clear, what
4 was the source of each one of these alarms, because
5 there were a couple of reports of someone just doing
6 256 kit detection.
7 Well, operationally that's normally not
8 the first thing a person does. You just don't pull
9 out a 256 kit and run a test just because you feel
10 like running a test. There's something that has to
11 precipitate that. You're either under an operational
12 attack, you're under artillery fire, you get an alert
13 from an adjacent unit, the wind might be blowing in
14 your direction and that might cause a commander to
15 upgrade his MOPP level.
16 We're trying to search down all of those
17 types of things and find out what caused the alarm,
18 what was the unit's reaction, what efforts did they do
19 to confirm it, and who sounded the all-clear, and
20 based upon what.
21 WHERE WE ARE TODAY: There are several key
22 ones that were initiated by the 11th Marines
1 themselves, and there are one or two batallion out of
2 the five batallions that seem to be the bulk of the
3 alerts. It wasn't evenly spread across all five
4 batallions. A key point does appear that no alerts
5 were based on M8A1 detectors, because the Marines by
6 this time had not -- did not have a whole lot of
7 confidence in the M8A1. And some of the division and
8 regimental NBC officers chose not to use them because
9 of the operational scenario they were in a highly
10 mobile fluid environment, and the M8 is not designed
11 specifically for that.
12 And some of them, based on their past
13 association with the M8, did not have a whole lot of
14 confidence in them and chose simply not to use them.
15 So, again, the question comes back what was the
16 original source of the chemical alarm if it wasn't an
18 Some of the all-clear calls cannot be tied
19 to separate testing. And another significant fact is
20 that the oil well fire pollution appears to be a very,
21 very significant factor. People had reported that it
22 turned day into night, visibility was extremely
1 limited, very heavy carbon, hydrocarbon rich
2 environment. And that's a know false -- correction,
3 a known interferent for a lot of the detectors. So
4 whatever the source of the chemical alert they had to
5 deal with the oil well fires too.
6 The status of this particular
7 investigation, we're still in the early stages with
8 most of the interviews yet to come. And the reason
9 for that is we have one investigator assigned to this,
10 and he had to be -- I reassigned him and prioritized
11 his work to work on one of the information papers that
12 over arched other investigations we thought had a
13 higher priority. He's now in the concluding stages of
14 that and expect that he's going to get on with work on
15 this right away.
16 The next is the Ammunition Storage Point,
17 that's what ASP stands for, and the Orchard
18 Investigation. This is an investigation in what
19 happened into the Iraqi 3rd Armored Corps ASP after
20 the war on the 28th of February and the 1st of March.
21 It was initiated because of reports of a Fox crew Task
22 Force Ripper reported the alerts for chemical warfare
1 agents and EOD Teams actually came in and evaluated
2 what was there. And this was augmented by some of the
3 testimony of Gunnery Sergeant George Grass who was one
4 of the Fox Vehicle Commanders.
5 In the course of our interviews we've
6 interviewed the Fox Vehicle Commander and several of
7 his crew members, and the EOD Team leader and several
8 of the operational commanders and several of the NBC
9 personnel who were associated with that particular
10 site and the events surrounding it.
11 There were several reports of this
12 incident in both PAC testimony and in Congressional
13 testimonies, and several operational unit logs
14 reflected up the chain of command. So there are
15 several reports of these incidents.
16 The detection equipment centers around the
17 Fox Vehicle, and that was the subject of testimony a
18 month or so -- a couple of months ago, and is very key
19 consideration into our evaluation of events that the
20 Fox Vehicle was the only thing used there.
21 The unproductive investigation leads that
22 we have now are that we are still able to confirm or
1 deny any agent presence. That's because we're taking
2 the whole thing in the general context, not just the
3 Fox Vehicle detection. You have to look at everything
4 around there, samples, tapes, injuries, all of which
5 are absent with this particular event.
6 But you mix that with other information
7 that we now know that no chemical weapons have been
8 located in Kuwait during or after the war. A key
9 piece of information, unfortunately, is not available
10 to us is that the Fox tape that Gunnery Sergeant Grass
11 took and he said he passed up the chain of command
12 appears to have been destroyed, that it was passed up
13 the chain and someone assessed it to be a false alarm
14 and didn't see the need to keep it. There also was no
15 standard operating procedure requiring people to keep
16 that. That's unfortunate.
17 Oh, yes, we know the specific individual
18 that it was given to and he has told us that he
19 destroyed it.
20 Some of the people that we had believed to
21 have a direct association with this one we contacted
22 didn't seem -- didn't have a memory of it, or the
1 events were very fuzzy. So that also highlights a
2 point with anecdotal information that is often
3 contradictory and doesn't seem to substantiate it.
4 EVIDENCE STILL BEING SOUGHT: We are
5 interviewing additional people involved with the EOD
6 Team. We have talked to the EOD Team leader who
7 specifically reports going in there checking for
8 chemical munitions and specifically remembers pointing
9 that -- reporting that there were no chemical
10 munitions present. That he took a look at it, he
11 examined it and it was his opinion that they were not
12 chemical weapons there.
13 MR. BALDESCHWIELER: Do you know the basis
14 on which he made that statement?
15 LT. COLONEL NALLS: The basis on that the
16 EOD person made that decision?
17 MR. BALDESCHWIELER: Yes. Was he looking
18 for markings on the munitions, for example?
19 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Markings is just part
20 of the issue. EOD trained people specialize in
21 identifying chemical munitions. This is what I've been
22 told by the EOD people that I've interviewed. And
1 there's a series of publications that is only given to
2 EOD people, it's called a Series 60 set of
3 publications, they're classified. The publications
4 themselves are classified, but there is a very
5 detailed process for identifying. A munition is
6 either conventional or chemical.
7 You may remember some news stories within
8 the past several years in the Washington, D. C. area
9 where some munitions were unearthed after being buried
10 in the ground for years and years and years, and
11 publications addressed munitions all the way back to
12 World War I, size, shape, markings. And the EOD
13 people go through a very detailed set of examination
14 criteria in order to make that determination, and do
15 not dispose of it until they're absolutely sure they
16 know what's inside.
17 MS. NISHIMI: But isn't it true that EOD
18 personnel inspected Khamisiyah?
19 LT. COLONEL NALLS: There were EOD
20 personnel there, yes, but I think --
21 MS. NISHIMI: And isn't it true --
22 LT. COLONEL NALLS: -- the majority of the
1 people doing the inspections were engineers. And
2 there's a difference.
3 MS. NISHIMI: But isn't it true that the
4 report was that there were no chemical munitions out
5 of Khamisiyah?
6 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Yes.
7 MS. NISHIMI: And isn't it true that if
8 they had even, in fact, looked in Bunker 73 they would
9 not have identified them necessarily as chemical
11 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Yes, I think so.
12 MS. NISHIMI: And so then to characterize
13 that EOD personnel looked at the ASP Orchard and
14 determined just by looking at them that they were not
15 chemical munitions really is somewhat disingenuous
16 under the circumstances, given that you couldn't tell
17 from external inspection?
18 DR. ROSTKER: The difference is that in
19 Khamisiyah and subsequent inspections it was
20 determined that there were chemicals. The military
21 and then contractors were completely through Kuwait,
22 and this was a bunker that was in Kuwait, not behind
1 Iraqi lines. And so no chemicals were ever reported
2 from that amunition supply point, including subsequent
3 inspections and disposal of munitions.
4 MS. NISHIMI: But this is inspections
5 afterwards, real time inspections and real time
7 DR. ROSTKER: That's what I'm saying is
8 that this isn't the matter of going back to a bunker
9 later determining that there was a faulty EOD
10 inspection. These bunkers have completely been through
11 and the munitions have been disposed of, and there was
12 no indication at all in any time period that there
13 were chemicals in those bunkers.
14 MS. NISHIMI: But that's also true at
16 DR. ROSTKER: No, it's not. It was
17 subsequent to --
18 MS. NISHIMI: And it was only true when
19 UNSCOM went back.
20 DR. ROSTKER: No, no, no, subsequent
21 inspection at Khamisiyah by UNSCOM showed there were
22 chemicals. But subsequent inspection by private
1 contractors and the like at this site in Kuwait did
2 not find chemicals.
3 MR. BROWN: But I think the key point here
4 is that the fact this site was inspected by EOD,
5 ordinance explosive disposal experts you can't really
6 take that as an education whether or not there were
7 actual chemical weapons there.
8 DR. ROSTKER: That's why we -- (inaudible
9 words as both parties spoke simultaneously).
10 MR. BROWN: Because -- okay. But that's
11 the point, it doesn't mean necessarily very much that
12 they didn't spot them because --
13 DR. ROSTKER: Well, that's why you look
14 for corroborating information up and down the line.
15 And if the munitions were in the bunker and sealed
16 they would not have leaked and would not have gone on
17 to a Fox tape in the first place. So presumably the
18 EOD, who had all of the same equipment and the like,
19 when they went in a day later did not find -- and
20 there have been nothing that has occurred in those
21 bunkers or in Kuwait that would show that the EOD
22 people made a bad call, which is exactly what happened
1 at Khamisiyah.
2 So, again, we need to make sure that we
3 carry the analogy of Khamisiyah through to its logical
5 MR. BROWN: Well, the difference though is
6 that Khamisiyah was blown up, and that left that --
7 sort of fixed the evidence. So when UNSCOM came in
8 later to check it out the evidence was kind of stuck
10 DR. ROSTKER: Sure, but --
11 MR. BROWN: Let me just finish the
12 thought. At this site if there had been chemical
13 weapons there that wasn't destroyed if they could have
14 been moved, you know, the next time that that site was
15 inspected was some months, at least some months later.
16 Anything could have happened in that period. So
17 they're somewhat different.
18 DR. ROSTKER: But to the best of our
19 knowledge the Kuwaitees who had control of that site
20 after the liberation of Kuwait did not report in any
21 of their actions which were largely done by
22 contractors, that there were chemical weapons at that
2 And clearly if there had been chemical
3 weapons at that site I believe that would have been a
4 major piece of information that would be available to
5 us today. We have talked to contractors who were
6 involved in the clearing operation and they do not
7 report in any of their clearing operations ever
8 finding chemicals, including chemical landmines and a
9 whole range of things that at various times were
10 claimed and have never materialized.
11 MR. TURNER: But as I understand it, Dr.
12 Rostker, Gunnery Sergeant Grass' detection was not
13 linked to an individual round or a specific group of
15 DR. ROSTKER: Yeah.
16 MR. TURNER: So his detection is that
17 there was chemical agent, trace amounts of some
18 chemical agent at that site. Not that particular
19 rounds were, in fact, chemical rounds.
20 DR. ROSTKER: Gunnery --
21 MR. TURNER: Let me finish the question.
22 So to say that, you know, that there were no rounds
1 you could identify does not necessarily answer the
2 full possibilities of that detection.
3 DR. ROSTKER: My recollection of Gunnery
4 Sergeant Grass' testimony before the House in December
5 was that he describes a whole complex that was just
6 keening with chemical weapons. And he describes boxes
7 and markings on boxes, and was quite certain that this
8 was a major chemical find.
9 If you look at the CENTCOM logs that's the
10 way it's described, as a "major chemical find."
11 That's the way it's described on the 18th of February.
12 The 1st of March the same person phoned in the report
13 on the 28th of February says we've been in the bunkers
14 and there's nothing there. But Art's going to
15 continue his account.
16 LT. COLONEL NALLS: I seem to recollect
17 that Gunnery Sergeant Grass specifically described
18 marked munitions that in his mind he thought were
19 chemical munitions. I'll go back and take another
20 look at that. But what he saw, he saw what he did, he
21 did. We're not refuting that. If he saw munitions
22 with markings on them that's one thing, that's a fact.
1 Whether or not it's correct to say those,
2 because of the markings, are chemical munitions is an
3 assessment that I think we would stand behind. We
4 would make that same assessment based purely on the
6 Another piece of information I thought I
7 had it on a slide here, it was fairly recently. I
8 can't find it right now. But the same DOD person who
9 was present with Gunnery Sergean Grass, also went back
10 to that area, that specific ASP as a contractor after
11 the war and detailed to us in an interview that he
12 destroyed it and that he did not find any chemical
13 munitions, and that was something they had been
14 looking for.
15 And he was confident in his mind that if
16 there had been -- he actually chuckled a little bit
17 about it that if there had been chemical munitions
18 there he would have found them, they would have been
19 aware of them.
20 However, in the evidence still being
21 sought we are still not just taking his testimony as
22 gospel either, and we're going to continue to
2 interview other people, members of the EOD Team and
3 the units that were located nearby and the other
4 members of the Fox Crews that were in the same area.
5 This is an open investigation.
6 The same with a lot of other of our
7 investigations, much of the evidence is contradictory
8 and personal recollections do not appear to agree in
9 their entirety. There were no secondary tests for
10 confirmation performed and the location of the
11 amunition storage place near an orchard has been --
12 may have an explanation of why detection of benzyl
13 bromide Gunnery Sergeant Grass' Fox Vehicle, the
14 technical assessment of that by the CBD COM people
15 explains how benzyl bromide could be detected.
16 There are some common ions with some --
17 that -- let me back up. Benzyl bromide is one of the
18 60 substances in the Fox Vehicle library. It's not
19 normally a weaponized military agent, it's a tearing
20 agent. But it is in the library and there are some
21 ions that the MM1 mass spectrometer uses to identify
22 benzyl bromide that are consistent with some chemicals
1 that are used as pesticides, and could have been in an
2 orchard. That was their assessmen, and it seems to be
3 a possible explanation for it.
4 Based on what we've got to-date to work
5 with we can't make an assessment as to the presence of
6 chemical warfare agents in the ASP. We know we've got
7 some people that say that Gunnery Sergeant Grass saw
8 some things with markings on it, the Fox Vehicle
9 alerted to something. It certainly showed something.
10 But we've got an EOD person who went in
11 and says I looked, I'm specifically trained to do this
12 and in my assessment there were no chemicals there.
13 In addition he went back after the war and it seems
14 likely that if there were chemical weapons, munitions
15 present that they would have surfaced at that time.
16 DR. ROSTKER: This is a case that is often
17 cited on lists of observations because on the 28th of
18 February there is a rather stark entry in the CENTCOM
19 logs. And it says, "...The Chief Officer James phoned
20 this in that they found something that they've gone to
21 protective measure, they're courting it off and
22 they're going in the morning." And that's often
1 published in lists.
2 Turn the page in the COM logs on the 1st
3 of March it says, "...Chief Officer James called, they
4 went in and there's an all-clear," that they found
5 nothing, that often is not published in the lists of
6 accounts. So there is a contemporaneous account by the
7 chemical weapons officer who inspected the site that
8 does not support this being a chemical site. All of
9 that is being put together in our case narrative on
10 the Orchard.
11 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Let's have some
12 questions on the ASP and the 11th Marines. Let me
13 start by asking this just to get a clear picture of
14 where you're at. You've not reached a definitive
15 conclusion on either the 11th Marines or the ASP, is
16 that right? You're still planning to interview
17 additional people?
18 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Yes, ma'am.
19 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: How many more people
20 do you expect to interview in each of these, what's
21 your time table for getting these done?
22 LT. COLONEL NALLS: I would expect it
1 would be a dozen or so people.
2 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay. How many
3 people do you have working on each of these?
4 LT. COLONEL NALLS: I've got one person
5 working on each one of them.
6 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Why?
7 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Yes, ma'am.
8 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Why?
9 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Well --
10 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Or maybe I should ask
11 Dr. Rostker. I guess my concern is where the
12 priorities are in the PGIT. You took over last
13 November with orders to redo this whole thing.
14 DR. ROSTKER: Um-huh.
15 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: And our charge was to
16 oversee your work around specifically chemical agent
18 DR. ROSTKER: Yes.
19 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: My interpretation of
20 the priority was this was the priority, not all the
21 other activities, and that you have 100 people in your
1 DR. ROSTKER: Right.
2 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: How many are assigned
3 to these inspection areas as compared to the other
4 things you've gotten into?
5 DR. ROSTKER: Slide 51. This is really
6 Anne's group and the particular bio/chemical team, and
7 these are numbers of the cases and the people that are
8 assigned directly, they're supported by other people
9 in the organization.
10 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay. I'm sorry. I
11 see the 3, 8, 5, 5, 3. That's the number of people on
12 each team with the number of things they're being
13 asked to look at?
14 DR. ROSTKER: No, the things are
16 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: The things are
17 underneath, okay. So you have eight people looking at
19 DR. ROSTKER: We have a five man team
20 looking at the various Marine operations, and that's
21 what Art was talking about.
22 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Right.
1 DR. ROSTKER: But I temporarily took one
2 of those people and I assigned them over to the Issues
3 Team. You can see the amount of work that's under the
4 Issues, the Fox Vehicle, 256, M8, MOPP Guidance.
5 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Right, right.
6 DR. ROSTKER: Those are things you know,
7 we talked about earlier today.
8 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Right, okay. So 10,
9 21, 24 people all in all in the inspection area.
10 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Well, 26 counting
12 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay, okay. So about
13 a fourth of your total 100 people or so that are
14 assigned to you in PGIT are working at this, and the
15 other three-quarters are doing other things?
16 DR. ROSTKER: Well, wait a minute, that
17 includes the computer people that supports this, so
18 this is the dedicated team that draws resources for
19 computers, people on the telephone doing interviews
20 are not counted in this group. We have a 20 man
21 section that works the telephones that's been involved
22 in the Khamisiyah survey that's been involved in the
1 whole range of --
2 MS. DAVIS: And one of the -- additionally
3 people moved down below where we've got additional
4 cases like the mustard exposure and so forth, that we
5 have another group that is working. Basically the way
6 that has broken out the investigators, we've got about
7 three people that are working those additional cases.
8 The other section that is working on
9 chemical incidents, primarily in the pre cursor
10 stages, are the preliminary analysis group. And we've
11 got there about five investigators continuing to cull
12 through files to make sure that we have identified
13 incidents and to help feed us the information so that
14 they can then be prioritized as cases.
15 So in terms of sheer numbers that people
16 have devoted to looking at chemical incidents this is
17 not the totality of the universe.
18 DR. ROSTKER: It's the tip of the iceberg.
19 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Well, can you give me
20 some sense of what proportion of your 100 person team
21 are really devoted to this area, and what kind of
22 priority this gets as compared to the other things
1 that --
2 DR. ROSTKER: It gets the highest priority
3 in terms of writing up the cases and being responsible
4 for the management of the cases, pulling in the
5 resources from the whole organization this is the key
6 group. But we also -- and they're drawing resources
7 from the people who work with -- in terms of our phone
8 calls and the follow-ups.
9 They draw resources in computer support
10 and experts in working the data bases, so it is very
11 much in a sense a matrix type organization so that we
12 can bring together all of the resources across the
14 MS. DAVIS: Going back to the testimony
15 that I provided to the Committee two months ago in
16 Salt Lake City, at this stage the group -- the
17 investigation and analysis piece continues to be the
18 largest piece of the Office of Special Assistant.
19 Right now we have about 80 people which is about 50
20 percent of the entirety of the organization of the
21 Office of Special Assistant.
22 And as Dr. Rostker mentioned other
1 elements of the Office outside of the investigation
2 piece everything from Legislative Affairs, Public
3 Affairs, Outreach and so on, I mean there are certain
4 health benefits or those sorts of functions which we
5 relate to, we work with to provide information.
6 Internal to my organization the largest
7 group is the chemical group. Now as I indicated there
8 are folks within preliminary analysis who provide
9 direct support to the chemical team. But now as a
10 practical matter I've got about nine folks working
11 environmental issues. I will have but don't right yet
12 have, will have about six folks working medical
13 planning issues.
14 And then the bulk of the rest, which
15 includes the Veterans Data Managers, the folks who are
16 doing the outreach in return of 1-800 calls and
17 actually doing phone call interviews for the
18 investigators. Most of their efforts are related to
19 the chemical incident cases. And then the 26 hands-on
20 investigators. So --
21 DR. ROSTKER: They're really integrators
22 in the sense -- in the way we organize this that you
1 start with really the Marine Breaching. It's the same
2 units that run into the 11th Marines, it's the same
3 unit that runs into the Orchard, so that there are a
4 core of people who are familiar with Marine
5 operations. And the people who are involved in all of
6 these accounts, just as Sergeant Grass is involved in
7 all of these accounts.
8 Now I put a lot of effort or directed them
9 to put the majority of their effort on the Marine
10 Breaching Operation, which is a paper which is about
11 to go into coordination. And then following that 11th
12 Marines and following that the Orchard. So, again,
13 there's a commonality of people, but then as we finish
14 the specific reports in the Marine area then those
15 core people who have the knowledge can turn to putting
16 the finishing touches on 11th Marines or putting the
17 finishing touches on the count.
18 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay. Tom?
19 MR. CROSS: I'm curious once again about
20 the identification of the Iraqi ordinance. The U.N.
21 Inspection Team testified to us almost a year ago and
22 they said under repeated questioning that there were
1 no definitive markings on the Iraqi ordinance to
2 discriminate between chemical and high explosive.
3 DR. ROSTKER: That's correct.
4 MR. BALDESCHWIELER: I asked well, how did
5 the Iraqis tell the difference. The answer was --
6 that came back was that they had personnel assigned to
7 specific field storage units where the chemical rounds
8 were located who knew which were which. And I assume
9 that they had perhaps lot numbers which could be
11 The U.N. people further went on to say
12 that they identified, that the rounds that were
13 destroyed at Khamisiyah were chemical on the basis of
14 the wreckage. And that is one could see in the
15 destroyed components evidence of liners and so forth
16 which should be associated with chemical rounds.
17 Is this consistent with your basic
18 understanding of the technology?
19 DR. ROSTKER: Yeah, but I think you have
20 to put it in a slightly different context. If you go
21 back to the CIA paper on Khamisiyah which came out
22 after we published and as a result of our publishing
1 a Khamisiyah narrative there is a discussion in there
2 about the issue of markings.
3 Clearly the troops on the ground had the
4 expectation that chemical weapons would have been
5 marked with yellow bands or --
6 MR. BALDESCHWIELER: A color coding or
8 DR. ROSTKER: Color coding.
9 MR. BALDESCHWIELER: Absolutely.
10 DR. ROSTKER: It is also true that the
11 Intelligence Community increasingly understood, and by
12 the eve of the ground war were definitive in their
13 statements that there would be no markings. That word
14 did not get down to the troops. And so if you ask the
15 troops that were going through whether there were
16 chemicals they would have told you, as they have told
17 us in literally hundreds of phone contacts that they
18 were looking for chemical markings and yellow bands.
19 We still get those reports about people
20 who said I think I came across chemical weapons
21 because they had yellow bands.
22 What we believe today is consistent with
1 your testimony or the testimony given you, that these
2 chemical rounds were generally filled at the factory,
3 that they were safeguarded by special units who knew
4 which bunkers they were in or where they were stored.
5 And that they were not generally distributed to
6 forward elements independent of these troops
7 accompanying them.
8 In the case of the Orchard it's not only
9 confusion of what Sergeant Grass saw and thought, and
10 then the engineering disposal people going in
11 afterwards. But if they all missed it and there were
12 chemical weapons there then it should have come
13 through in the disposal activity that occurred after
14 the war. And it didn't.
15 That's strikingly different from
16 Khamisiyah because in Khamisiyah things were blown up,
17 and we have the evidence of that remaining in place
18 and we can see the pictures the U.N. took of the
19 chemical rounds and the telltale of polyurethane
20 lining and constructs of the shells.
21 But your recollection is correct in the
22 fact that this case we don't see after the war a
1 further demolition of the site coming up with
2 chemicals. In a similar vein, getting a little ahead,
3 there are counts of chemical mines where people said
4 we weren't under attack but we think we saw a puff of
5 smoke, and it was a chemical mine.
6 In clearing 300,000 mines in Kuwait no
7 chemical mine was ever found. So, again, we're
8 putting a degree of stock on what the activities were
9 after the war and what was found by contractors or
10 what was not found by contractors.
11 MR. BALDESCHWIELER: At least in
12 retrospect then an EOD Team really would have no basis
13 for deciding whether they were chemical weapons or not
14 when they either declared a bunker clear or not clear.
15 DR. ROSTKER: Without -- today there are
16 certain technologies that we cannot talk about in an
17 open session that provide increased advantage to an
18 EOD Team to identify those rounds on an individual
20 MS. DAVIS: In the future. That's in the
22 DR. ROSTKER: Very much so in the future.
1 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay. But the
2 statement stands. Elaine, and then I think we're
3 going to try to move on to the Edgewood.
4 MS. LARSON: Were there regulations or
5 standards about how long Fox tapes were kept?
6 LT. COLONEL NALLS: No, ma'am. Because
7 the system was the -- it was designated the XM-93, "X"
8 meaning that it wasn't fully -- it still had some
9 experimental parts to it. It was donated to us by the
10 Government of Germany, and we got it just prior to the
11 war. We hadn't worked -- "we" as a military
12 organization hadn't worked out all of the details and
13 procedures, standard operating procedures and --
14 MS. LARSON: But were some kept and some
16 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Yes, ma'am.
17 MS. LARSON: And if so, why were some
18 destroyed and some kept?
19 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Well, those that were
20 destroyed --
21 MS. LARSON: You can see that that looks
22 a little strange in retrospect.
1 LT. COLONEL NALLS: In hindsight if we
2 could have asked them to keep every single one of them
3 that would certainly be a good thing to do. We didn't
4 do that at the time. The tapes that we have found,
5 the very few tapes that we have found someone kept
6 them as a souvenir, it appears to us. There was no
7 doctrinal guidance telling them to keep that.
8 Those that were destroyed, when we talked
9 to the one individual and he said yes, he gave it to
10 me, I assessed it as a false alarm because of various
11 reasons, we didn't have any indication of attack and
12 there were no symptoms, and nobody -- it looked to me
13 like a complete false alarm. He didn't see any need
14 to keep them, therefore, he destroyed them.
15 DR. ROSTKER: If I might make a
16 suggestion. There are two cases that -- since we're on
17 the Marines, instead of switching to the Edgewood
18 tapes, could we do the Marine Breaching Operation and
19 then maybe the Fox Vehicle and then come back to the
20 tapes? Would that be acceptable?
21 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: No, I think we had
22 rather go on to Edgewood because I think there's other
1 kinds of issues. And we're beginning to go through
2 the same issues all over again. So I'd like to get
3 all the issues on the table and then we can come back
4 to Marine Breaching.
5 MR. TURNER: If I could just do a question
6 on the 11th Marines. There were detections that
7 occurred both during the ground war and before the
8 ground war. How many of the detections were in the
9 same time frame as the Marine Breaching Operations,
10 like three or four, is that a --
11 LT. COLONEL NALLS: For the scope of these
12 investigations we've separated that out. We've
13 separated the scope of the Marine Breaching as seen
14 the 24th from 0600 in the morning roughly as they were
15 going through the mine fields. And the way we did
16 that was because the source, if there was a chemical
17 weapon there, it could have been a mine, and then
18 later on that day is how we separated that.
19 MR. TURNER: Roughly by my count 15 of the
20 incidents that are identified as 11 Marine incidents
21 occurred during the ground war. There are two
22 specifics I'd like to call your attention to: 26
1 February '91, at 0213, there were multiple blister
2 agent readings in two separate 256 kits by A Battery,
3 1st Batallion 11. What can you tell us about that, if
5 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Well, those entries
6 appear in the logs just as you quoted them. The times
7 are there, but if you look at the logs of other units
8 that are around there also in the 1st Marine Division
9 you hear "chemical alarm all-clear -- chemical alarm
10 all-clear." That's about the level of detail I'm
11 prepared to talk to.
12 MR. TURNER: Okay. The second one is 26
13 February at 0327, again multiple 256 detections. I
14 point to these because Dr. Lashof has raised some
15 questions about priorities.
16 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Um-huh.
17 MR. TURNER: And incidents where like this
18 you have more than one 256 kit, a period of time is
19 more extended than just a, you know, normal check.
20 Seems to me at least to be the kind of incident you
21 have to put real high priority on to get to the bottom
22 of it.
1 Is there anything you can tell us about
2 that latter incident?
3 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Absolutely. It was a
4 period that covered several hours, and that's exactly
5 the reason why we put this into a case because as we
6 were wrestling with the -- what we would consider a
7 confirmed event you've got 256 detections, you've got
8 reports of positive 256 detections and whatnot.
9 So we lump those together and that's why
10 we are investigating it. And we did assign a higher
11 priority to this than some of the other things that
12 we're going to have to do a little down the road.
13 I really wish I had the resources to do
14 everything overnight and produce an answer right away.
15 But the fact of life is that I don't.
16 DR. ROSTKER: We made the decision -- I
17 made the decision in doing this. Instead of looking
18 at every 256 kit separate, Fox Vehicle separately to
19 lump them together in natural events. And then to
20 take the expertise that we had and move them through
21 in priority basis.
22 I judged the Marine Breaching Operation,
1 which is the first of these, to be the highest
2 priority, and to work through the Marine Campaign in
3 an orderly fashion. Also I judged that since all of
4 these cases one way or the other had to do with the
5 Fox Vehicle and its sensitivity that we would do a
6 background paper on the Fox Vehicles that would be a
7 resource and help inform all the cases.
8 And that's the strategy we've been
9 following. We expect that within the next six weeks
10 or so to have all the cases related to the Marines out
11 on the street. So this isn't a matter of we haven't
12 done anything, we've ignored it, we haven't written
13 it, there are drafts that are involved in this. We're
14 writing as we are finishing up the specific
16 MR. TURNER: Well, then the way to leave
17 it is, you know, perhaps at the next meeting of the
18 Committee you can provide us with an update on where
19 you are on this.
20 DR. ROSTKER: Oh, absolutely. And we'll
21 be happy to even do that today and show you the master
22 plan. We have it.
1 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Well, let's move on
2 to the Edgewood Fox Vehicle Tapes specifically because
3 that's another specific one that we want to get to and
4 then we can come back and try to tie all these strings
6 MS. NISHIMI: If you could for time
7 purposes, Art, skip over the Fox Vehicle deductions
8 and go straight to the Edgewood and Marine Breaching.
9 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Yes, ma'am, be glad
10 to. Slide number 37, please.
11 Okay, this was briefed at the last PAC
12 hearing, and I'll provide an update of the status of
13 what we've done in the past seven weeks or so. As we
14 said at that time it was our hypothesis that all tapes
15 came from a single unit. And we made that assessment
16 based on a chronological order of the times that are
17 presented on the tapes, and that the location shown on
18 the tapes although they are not definitive, they omit
19 some of the identifying letters in front of the
20 locations on the tapes. It does appear consistent
21 with Army Units.
22 There was a comment that I briefed a
1 couple of months ago that one of the tapes said
2 "Supporting 3/7." Well, there was a Marine Unit that
3 just didn't seem to be consistent with, and there was
4 an Army Unit the 3rd of the 7th, and the 24th Infantry
5 Division that this does seem to be consistent with.
6 And based on our G-3 and S-3 conferences we went down
7 to try to match this up with a specific unit and that
8 specific unit's movement.
9 We believe we have been able to do that.
10 And we've talked with a couple -- we're getting closer
11 on that, I don't think I have a definitive unit yet.
12 But the G-3's and the S-3's that we spoke to said if
13 it was the Fox Vehicle that went with us a very
14 important point is that we never once upgraded from
15 MOPP 2. We were in MOPP 2 from the time we crossed
16 the line into departure all the way up to Khamisiyah,
17 and we turned south down along the Euphrates River and
18 we never increased our MOPP level in response to a
19 chemical, supposed chemical threat at all. So that
20 was a very key bit of information.
21 Additionally the technical assessment
22 whether we're able to tie this up with the unit, the
1 technical assessment of it by the Edgewood people has
2 not changed. It was a combined team that did that
3 assessment. It wasn't just government people, it was
4 industry people as well as mass spectrometry experts.
5 And their assessment was based on the conditions and
6 the information they had available it was highly
7 likely it was a false alarm due to battlefield
9 To-date we still have no indication that
10 these tapes even indicate a chemical agent. However,
11 we are continuing to work on them. This is not one of
12 our highest priority items, if we're going to discuss
13 priorities. It's something that we are continuing to
14 work on and we will attempt to eventually get to the
15 bottom of it and talk to the specific Fox Crew that
16 generated this tape, and fill in the operational
17 details around that. There are a few loose ends we
18 want to tie up.
19 I only had the one slide on this one.
20 Would you like to ask questions on this one?
21 MR. CROSS: Are those both Army units?
22 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Yes. Yes.
1 MS. NISHIMI: Yeah, why don't we just --
2 since you only have the one side just a few questions
4 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Yes, ma'am.
5 MS. NISHIMI: The Edgewood (inaudible
6 word) memo however it's characterized, that analyzed
7 that set of Fox Vehicle tapes, you mentioned a
8 civilian intermediary unidentified and a source of the
9 Fox tapes unidentified. Have you identified this
10 civilian intermediary?
11 LT. COLONEL NALLS: No, ma'am, we have
12 not. And the way we're -- when I say we're still
13 attempting to follow this up we are going to attempt
14 to contact every single Fox Vehicle crewman that was
15 during the war.
16 MS. NISHIMI: And have you identified the
17 -- so, therefore, you have not identified the source
18 of the Edgewood tapes?
19 LT. COLONEL NALLS: No, ma'am, we have
20 not. The person who submitted the tapes I'd like to
21 say again though intentionally did not want to be
22 identified. He whited out the personal, the
1 identifying information that would have been printed
2 on the tape. And what we got was a xerox copy of a
3 xerox copy, so we didn't get an original. There was
4 no way to scrape off the whiteout or whatever.
5 MS. NISHIMI: At the meeting in Charleston
6 you had indicated that you were talking to someone who
7 was in a command structure who might be able to
8 backdoor around into the source of these tapes. And
9 what was the result of that contact?
10 LT. COLONEL NALLS: That was the G-3/S-3
11 conference, the second bullet up there that we thought
12 we would be able to get some personal logs or diaries
13 or something like that, some names of people who were
14 the Fox Vehicles that supported it. Because this
15 entire operation was task organized. This vehicle and
16 this crew could support this unit today, they support
17 another one the next day and whatnot. And we have not
18 been able to match that.
19 MS. NISHIMI: So the G-3/S-3 thing did not
20 pan out, that backdoor?
21 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Not to that degree.
22 It did pan out when they gave me the very definitive
1 statement that we stayed in MOPP 2 the entire time.
2 We never upgraded, and we never had a threat of a
3 chemical agent at all.
4 So one of the loose ends we want to try to
5 tie up is why was it taken. It doesn't appear to be
6 a detection.
7 MS. NISHIMI: I have to say that I am
8 frustrated by the degree of sort of loose reference to
9 unproductive leads and dead ends. The Committee, in
10 fact, received the name of the civilian intermediary
11 from the DOD person at Edgewood. The civilian
12 intermediary's name is Mr. Fred Jones. So this is a
13 DOD contact. The person at Edgewood gave the
14 Committee Staff this name, Mr. Fred Jones.
15 Okay, so Fred Jones is kind of a tough
16 name maybe to track down. Well, it took the Committee
17 Staff less than two hours to track him down to
18 Alexandria, Virginia. We have since talked to the
19 source of the Fox tapes because we were working with
20 the civilian intermediary.
21 So I am concerned about, frankly, the
22 level of --
1 DR. ROSTKER: Have you shared that with
3 MS. NISHIMI: We have not shared.
4 DR. ROSTKER: Well, why haven't you shared
5 that with us?
6 MS. NISHIMI: Because the civilian --
7 because the DOD, the current active duty person
8 frankly is scared and does not trust --
9 DR. ROSTKER: Well, I mean we --
10 MS. NISHIMI: -- and we've been working to
11 build that trust.
12 DR. ROSTKER: Well, if he's scared and he
13 shared it with you but didn't want to share it with us
14 and you're not sharing it with us what's the problem
16 MS. NISHIMI: The problem is a DOD
17 employee had the name of the civilian intermediary
18 when we may have the opportunity to work with for
19 months, frankly years because our memo is from
20 December, 1994.
21 DR. ROSTKER: We have asked and we got no
22 information, it's a blind alley. If you had that
1 information you --
2 MS. NISHIMI: It's not a blind alley when
3 DOD has that information.
4 DR. ROSTKER: Ma'am, DOD is millions of
5 people. If you had information I think it would have
6 behooved you to share it with us so we could have
7 incorporated it in our own investigation.
8 MS. NISHIMI: It doesn't --
9 DR. ROSTKER: DOD is not a monolith. DOD
10 is a lot of people, a person who happens to work for
11 DOD chose to confide in you in ways they did not
12 choose to confide in us. And it would have been very
13 helpful if you would have made that information
14 available to us so we could have incorporated it into
15 our investigation.
16 MR. BROWN: Well, I guess the point is
17 that when this piece of information came to us it was
18 almost accidental, just a simple casual conversation
19 with somebody this stuff starts to unfold. And one
20 lead leads to the next one --
21 DR. ROSTKER: Well, this is very
22 complicated considering --
1 MR. BROWN: Can I just finish my point,
3 DR. ROSTKER: Yes, sir.
4 MR. BROWN: And we were amazed, you know,
5 how easy it was. I guess that was the point we were
6 amazed how easy it was to unearth this, I think,
7 somewhat striking piece of information, the person who
8 actually took those tapes. So the person who might be
9 able to answer the questions that you're asking is it
10 the unit you have here.
11 DR. ROSTKER: Well, let's not play
12 one-upmanship here.
13 MR. BROWN: Well, now let me just --
14 DR. ROSTKER: You had information that you
15 were able to get because people were more comfortable
16 giving it to you, then we would appreciate --
17 MR. BROWN: We didn't say that. We didn't
18 say that.
19 DR. ROSTKER: Well, that's what Robyn
20 said. And we would appreciate --
21 MS. NISHIMI: (Inaudible words as parties
22 spoke simultaneously), not the civilian intermediary.
1 MR. BROWN: The DOD person was happy to --
2 (inaudible words as parties spoke simultaneously).
3 DR. ROSTKER: Look, we're trying to do the
4 best job we can with all the information we can get to
5 from any source.
6 MR. BROWN: My -- well, let me --
7 DR. ROSTKER: And if you want to play
8 one-upmanship that's your problem, but I need that
9 information so we can carry on our investigation.
10 MR. BROWN: My point is when you then tell
11 us that these are unproductive leads and you haven't
12 been able to find anything, and yet for us it seems
13 like falling off a log, it makes us wonder about your
14 sincerity in the nature of your investigation. That's
16 DR. ROSTKER: Let's not get this, you know
17 -- our sincerity is in the mass amount of resources in
18 the difficult traces in the openness which we've had
19 it, we have public, we've been in the public, we've
20 done visits, we've done Gulf Link announcements.
21 We've been working with the Edgewood
22 people for months and if there's -- years, and if
1 there's a person in Edgewood that had information that
2 was not given to us, they can come forward. We have
3 taken an open stance. If they came forward to you and
4 you had something we'd appreciate that information.
5 We have given you absolute carte blanche to everything
6 in our files.
7 MR. TURNER: Dr. Rostker, I don't think
8 anybody's trying to engage in one-upmanship here. The
9 charge of the Committee in this respect is very
10 similar to your charge, which is to get the factual
11 information you can out of witnesses.
12 In this situation, because the source has
13 expressed fears of retaliation and reprisal we have to
14 move forward and try to get the information out of
15 him. That is a common occurrence in an investigation.
16 DR. ROSTKER: Yes, sir.
17 MR. TURNER: It does not mean that you are
18 forever, you know, in the dark about what the
19 substance of it is. There's a very specific limitation
20 on this case.
21 DR. ROSTKER: And we agree, and that's why
22 as you will know we were restricted until recently in
1 changing the rules for exactly the same reason. I'm
2 very frustrated by the people who feel they can't
3 trust DOD with retaliation. I can't imagine why there
4 would be retaliation. We're committed to get to the
5 bottom of this.
6 And under any terms that you're
7 comfortable with and they're comfortable with we'd
8 like to have that information. But the fact that a
9 person was not comfortable coming forward to us and,
10 therefore, it goes down as an unproductive lead, I
11 think we need to understand that people are
12 uncomfortable and we're not going to have all of the
13 same sources that you're going to have.
14 MS. NISHIMI: But the civilian
15 intermediary is not uncomfortable. I'm not talking
16 about the source who was very uncomfortable. The
17 civilian intermediary, the memo names and unnamed
18 civilian intermediary and an anonymous source.
19 DR. ROSTKER: We tried to get that
20 information, we contacted the Edgewood people, we've
21 been working with them time and again. We continue to
22 work with them. It's the Edgewood people that we're
1 working with to --
2 MS. NISHIMI: And those Edgewood people
3 are the ones that gave us the name of Fred Jones.
4 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Well, I don't know why
5 they wouldn't give it to us.
6 DR. ROSTKER: They didn't give it to us.
7 I mean, you know, we've been working --
8 MS. NISHIMI: But don't you think that's
9 a problem?
10 MR. BROWN: Did you ask them for the names
11 of persons?
12 DR. ROSTKER: Yes, we did.
13 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Of course we asked
14 them. That's the first thing we did, we went up there
15 and we talked with people in the program management,
16 the people that gave us the tapes, the people that
17 gave us -- that opened up their file cabinet and gave
18 us everything in the file cabinets, and "where did you
19 get this from." And we get this kind of answer or we
20 get no answer, "I don't know."
21 And all we can do is ask the people in
22 good faith would you share with us where this came
1 from, and when we get a "I don't know anything,"
2 that's different than "I won't tell you." We got a "I
3 don't know anything," from them.
4 DR. ROSTKER: Or that we didn't ask the
5 question which is implied that we've been derelict in
6 our obligation to search this out and clearly didn't
7 ask questions that you asked. And that's not the
8 case. And you admit that there are people who are
9 uncomfortable passing out different pieces of
10 information. We have to respect that, but we have to
11 work together to make sure that we get the best story,
12 the best understanding to the American people.
13 And so I will repeat, if you have
14 information that we are lacking in any of these case
15 narratives -- none of these case narratives, none of
16 our reports are definitive, they all end with the
17 statement "this is our best understanding." If you
18 have any information that would help us understand
19 this please provide that. That's the cover page of
20 every case narrative.
21 And we will take the information that you
22 just shared with us and --
1 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Well, I was going to
2 say, I mean the information we can share obviously is
3 Fred Jones.
4 DR. ROSTKER: Yes, ma'am.
5 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: We have no more idea
6 than you as to why they were willing to give the
7 information to our staff and not to your staff. I
8 mean we have a staff of six, you have a staff of 100,
9 we end up getting Fred Jones' name like this, finding
10 him in two hours and finding the source, and you
11 don't. And we don't understand that.
12 It's not like we've been sitting on this
13 for months, it just happened very shortly. We were
14 prepared -- hope that you would have that information
15 as well today.
16 We'll have to move on from there.
17 DR. ROSTKER: Yes, ma'am.
18 LT. COLONEL NALLS: For whatever reason
19 we'll take it and we'll pick it back up with it.
20 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: I think that's really
21 all we can do on that one for today. Let us then go
22 ahead back to the other Fox tapes and the Marine
1 Breaching since we heard a lot about the Marine
2 Breaching in our last --
3 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Okay. The Fox Vehicle
4 -- if we could go to slide 36, please. Thank you.
5 I think I need to clarify exactly what the
6 Fox Vehicle Detection Matrix is, I'm not sure that's
7 clearly understood. This is, in and of itself is not
8 a case but it's a tool to help us aggregate
9 information and prioritize it. Actually we
10 aggregatethe information and then we'll take a look at
11 it, and if the tool doesn't help us prioritize it
12 we'll make the priorities.
13 Most of these Fox detections that are in
14 this Matrix and the last time it was updated was
15 February, are already under investigation in other
16 investigations. This was a starting point. And as we
17 find new evidence of detections we will add them to
18 the Matrix, and we will, again, go through that
19 process to aggregate and prioritize and pick the ones
20 that are the most promising and the most things to be
21 investigated, the greatest potential to shed some
22 light on what happened during the Gulf War, and we'll
1 investigate them.
2 And per your guidance from your Final
3 Report we do intend to investigate everything that is
4 on that list, every Fox Vehicle detection, every 256
5 kit detection.
6 That's really all I had for update on
7 that, ma'am.
8 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay.
9 MS. NISHIMI: And then -- why don't we
10 just roll through the breaching?
11 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Yes, ma'am. Since the
12 last time we testified the next day we travelled to
13 Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. And we interviewed
14 additional NBC personnel at Camp Lejeune, North
15 Carolina. That did not add terribly to our
16 understanding of events that happened during Marine
17 Breaching, however, it was more for a completeness
18 that we think -- we do have more corroboration of
20 We have a draft narrative in review, and
21 as Dr. Rostker has said that should be ready for
22 external coordination shortly here, and we expect to
1 have something published by the end of July.
2 There are two very important parts to that
3 investigation that are not included in this first
4 draft narrative. But then again our narrative is
5 intended to be what we know at this particular point
6 in time. And we didn't want to hold up publication
7 because we were still investigating other things, as
8 we are with all of our investigations.
9 The first key part is that the analysis of
10 the Fox tape that we got from -- that was Master
11 Sergeant Bradford's tape going through the Breach. We
12 had that analyzed by the experts at CBDCOM, but in
13 addition we sent it to the National Institutes of
14 Standards and Technology, we have their assessment
15 back from them.
16 We also have sent it to Bruker. We have
17 not received Bruker's assessment of the Fox tape. And
18 when we get all three, the Edgewood Analysis, and this
19 analysis and the Bruker analysis we intend to meet
20 with most of the Fox, as many of the Fox Vehicle
21 crewmen that we can get, lay the tape out on the table
22 and go from start to finish and say this is what the
1 tape says, this is what it means, this is what the
2 experts assess to it and see if we can't agree on a
3 common set of facts of what that tape shows and what
4 it does not show.
5 MS. NISHIMI: When do you anticipate
6 getting the last analysis?
7 LT. COLONEL NALLS: The Bruker analysis?
8 I would have expected to have it by now. Dr. Ronka
9 was apparently very cooperative over the phone. I
10 just got the National Institutes of Standards and
11 Technology's tape last week.
12 DR. ROSTKER: This is the same procedure
13 we used in the Camp Monterey case, to have two outside
14 laboratories. Bruker is the manufacturer of the
16 Additionally another key piece of the
17 Marine Breaching Investigation is the additional
18 investigation of the potential chemical injury. We
19 still have a few people to talk to. We need to talk
20 with the actual doctor who looked at this Marine, and
21 frankly he's been a little allusive, he's talked with
22 us over the phone and he was quite adamant that it was
1 not a chemical injury.
2 And I get the impression he doesn't want
3 to be questioned in great detail about events that
4 happened six years ago. So he's not the most
5 cooperative person in the world, yet we're going to
6 attempt to take a couple of doctors up there and
7 actually interview him in detail.
8 Second we have a couple of corpsmen who
9 actually saw the injury, and we intend to follow-up
10 their -- follow them up and interview them and get
11 their assessment as to what they saw.
12 MR. CASSELLS: Have you, in fact, spoken
13 to Staff Sergeant Santos himself?
14 LT. COLONEL NALLS: No, we haven't. We've
15 got him on the next slide. We assess him as another
16 potential chemical injury. And based on the
17 information that we have available to us we've had his
18 name, and we've had some of his information that was
19 under previous investigations, and we're taking that
20 as a starting point.
21 It doesn't appear to us that he is
22 directly associated with Marine Breaching. So for
1 purposes of investigation we have separated him out
2 because the cause, the potential cause of an injury if
3 there was an injury does not appear to us to have been
4 caused while going through the Marine Breach. It
5 appears to be sometime afterward.
6 We have done some preliminary analysis on
7 that investigation. We spoke to his NCO/IC who has
8 since retired and he strongly refuted whether there
9 was an injury at all. So we've done a little bit of
10 work, yet we still have a lot more to go. But for
11 purposes of the Marine Breaching we have separated
12 that out and said that is something we will get to as
13 another priority.
14 MR. CASSELLS: That, as I understand it,
15 took place in association with the possible exposure,
16 the EPW Camp.
17 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Yes.
18 MR. CASSELLS: Have you identified the
19 commander of the EPW Camp or made any attempt to
20 contact him in order to determine why he was
22 LT. COLONEL NALLS: No, sir, we have not.
1 MR. CASSELLS: Do you plan to do so?
2 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Well, again, our
3 priorities will -- we will, after we finish the first
4 round of investigations we will aggregate all the
5 information that we have to determine another round of
6 investigation as we publish information. And we
7 haven't gone through that process yet.
8 DR. ROSTKER: The answer is yes. But the
9 focus of the team is the Marine Breaching, and as they
10 gain information they're collecting that and will
11 create new cases as we go forward in this. But we
12 want them to stay focused on the Marine Breaching.
13 When the Fox tape came up fairly late in
14 the investigation I made the decision not to hold the
15 Marine Breaching case, but to go on a parallel path
16 where we would publish what we have and then come back
17 later with the lab tests. And so we're trying to move
18 the cases along as fast as we can, even at the expense
19 of not being fully complete as long as we have a
20 coherent story and we can identify where the new piece
21 of information is.
22 Because none of, again, none of these
1 narratives are closing the case. They're preliminary
2 assessments and the purpose of making them public is
3 to be a stimulus to see if other people will come
4 forward and provide additional information that would
5 help us understand the situation better.
6 MS. DAVIS: Just for clarification too, on
7 the prior slide there was note of possible chemical
8 injury that related to Marine Breaching. We're
9 continuing to investigate that. The second one, the
10 one that was discussed in part in Charleston we are
11 considering to be a separate case.
12 We will investigate that, frankly, in much
13 the same way as we are looking into the chemical
14 injury and the context of the Marine Breaching,
15 talking to the medics, talking to the commanders,
16 talking to the chain of command. We don't have -- I
17 can't give you an outline on that right now, but it
18 will proceed in much the same vein.
19 So to the extent that the EPW Camp
20 commander is an important person to talk to about what
21 occurred, obviously we will talk to him.
22 MS. NISHIMI: I guess I would just throw
1 out on the table that since DOD has known about the
2 Sergeant Santos case since the Merriman Report in
3 1994, and has, in fact, has the medical records and
4 has the photographs.
5 Given that as a potential injury the
6 Committee views this as a high priority because in the
7 greater scheme of things there has been an assertion
8 that, you know, there were no injuries.
9 I would hope that this would receive,
10 frankly, a much higher priority. The commander of the
11 camp called Sergeant Santos to the camp. Sergeant
12 Santos does not know why the Commander Colonel Lyndon
13 Sparrow was called there.
14 It would seem to me to be a first order of
15 business to try and track down Colonel Sparrow. The
16 Committee has attempted to do that. He has recently
17 retired, but IAD is uniquely a place to start at the
18 top there and try and work backwards. And they have
19 known about this injury.
20 And, again, I'm emphasizing this is an
21 "injury, potential injury." And so, you know, it is
22 perhaps comparable to the Fisher case. And I think
1 when you have medical records and photographs it would
2 be useful to start running those to ground rather than
3 other cases where you have, you know, possible
4 detections and conflicting eyewitnesses.
5 DR. ROSTKER: Well, we would agree it's
6 important and we will do it. But Khamisiyah was the
7 most important, Marine Breaching -- the Committee has
8 been quite insistent on examining the other sites that
9 were identified in the FRAG Order.
10 There's a lot of priorities here and we
11 have to make some judgements. I've made those
12 judgements. They may not have been the right
13 judgements, but that's the way I've organized the
15 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Well, my thought on
16 this one is that since this one was known since 1994
17 when you do get around to investigating it maybe you
18 also ought to investigate why it wasn't followed up in
19 1994, and why it took up until now for one to try to
20 document this and determine what was on, since this is
21 an area --
22 MS. DAVIS: Ma'am, the information that we
1 have right now, frankly, on the Merriman Report and
2 the records that have been gathered is in the context
3 of putting together the report, the Merriman Report.
4 And an assessment of the injury was done and it was
5 deemed not to be a chemical injury.
6 We don't know frankly how that assessment
7 was made. And that will be a piece of what we look at
8 when we investigate it. But given the other incidents
9 and the other issues this was one that had been looked
10 at, at least at a point in time.
11 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: So this had been
12 looked at officially, had been ruled out and so that
13 this is a re-look.
14 MS. DAVIS: Official, yes, ma'am.
15 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: And that was one of
16 the reasons -- (inaudible words as parties spoke
18 MR. TURNER: Well, the -- you know, the
19 Merriman Report had reports of Khamisiyah too, and
20 they were determined not to be. You know, so I --
21 DR. ROSTKER: That's why we're re-looking
22 at it.
1 MR. TURNER: Yeah.
2 DR. ROSTKER: I can't look at everything
3 all at the same time. I mean we are spending millions
4 of dollars, but it's not just dollars it's the
5 intellectual capacity of the people, it's their
6 concentration, it's their time. We have to give them
7 some priorities.
8 I've made some judgements and priorities.
9 You know, I'll stand up and defend those in terms of
10 what we believed to be the most important. Maybe I
11 got them wrong.
12 MR. TURNER: I would hope you would not
13 just defend but you would not be imobile on them.
14 Part of the reason that these issues are raised is
15 because in our examination of what you're doing and
16 what's out there, there are areas that are very
17 serious like Santos that we don't think you're getting
18 the appropriate degree of attention.
19 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: I guess our
20 frustration -- you're at it eight months, we've been
21 at it almost two years.
22 MS. LARSON: We were volunteers, and we
1 aren't paid.
2 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: We were extended
3 because the DOD hadn't done these things and we were
4 asked to take on another ten months. I see October
5 coming up and possibly it not being resolved. And I
6 assure you this Committee does not want to continue
7 after October, certainly doesn't want to continue
8 trying to follow DOD around to find out what they're
10 Our frustration levels of both sides of
11 this table I think are rising, there's no question.
12 The last week of various other reports hasn't helped
13 anybody's temper I'm sure. But be that as it may some
14 of these that had been discovered before we think
15 deserve an awful high priority and we just urge you to
16 re-look at those priorities and let's see if we can't
17 clean this up in the next month or two.
18 DR. ROSTKER: Absolutely.
19 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Are there any other
21 MR. TURNER: Yeah, I do have a couple of
22 specific questions on breaching. To-date does DOD
1 currently view any of the Fox detections during the
2 Marine Breaching Operations as credible?
3 LT. COLONEL NALLS: I think based on our
4 criteria that we discussed earlier and evaluated
5 something on a spectrum of "absolutely did occur, it
6 was very likely, not likely, absolutely did not
7 occur," that we would have to put it somewhere in the
8 category of "not likely."
9 MR. TURNER: So your view is essentially
10 that all of the Marine Corps Breaching, Fox Detections
11 are essentially false positives or highly likely to be
12 false positives?
13 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Yes.
14 MR. TURNER: What's the basis of that
15 assessment, what's your standard?
16 LT. COLONEL NALLS: The entire bit of data
17 that we've collected in a greater context that we
18 showed in the process slide.
19 MR. TURNER: Do you need --
20 LT. COLONEL NALLS: I'm sorry?
21 MR. TURNER: Do you need a spectrum from
22 the Fox, is that what's lacking?
1 DR. ROSTKER: No. What was the weapon?
2 A lot of the reports were chemical mines. That area
3 -- there were 14 lanes created for the Breaching
4 Operation. These were randomly created on the
5 battlefield. It would be incredible if chemical mines
6 were only in the 14 lanes and then when 300,000 mines
7 were removed in Kuwait no one ever found a chemical
9 MR. TURNER: But a Fox Detector doesn't
10 say "I got a mine."
11 DR. ROSTKER: One of the corroborating
12 pieces of information is where might this come from.
13 We have found no chemical shells. So we cannot meet
14 the standard, we're not saying in terms of standard,
15 where did this chemical come from. Okay?
16 The medical reports, while we may have a
17 discussion about "a" soldier if there was use of
18 chemicals we would expect to see it more. So we're
19 not saying from the medical information. We have done
20 extensive inquiries into the nature of the Fox Vehicle
21 and whether it is possible to have a false positive
22 from a Fox Vehicle.
1 And when we started this inquiry and when
2 you started this inquiry the Fox Vehicle was the
3 be-all and end-all, and could never possibly give you
4 a false positive. That is clearly not the case today.
5 So we cannot rule out the fact that the vehicle gave
6 a false positive.
7 So we go through those checks consistent
8 with what we should be looking at from the U.N.'s
9 point of view, corroborating information. And I think
10 at this point we would say it is unlikely that this
11 event, that these reports were reporting an exposure
12 to chemical agents.
13 Moreover the Field Commanders have come to
14 the same conclusion, have testified before Congress in
15 exactly the same way. So we have some firsthand
16 observations which are not corroborated, often by crew
17 members which are not corroborated by people who saw
18 and talked to them at the same time. We have no
19 source of the agent at the time, nor through the
20 extensive follow-up.
21 We have a vehicle that is prone in this
22 environment of hydro-carbon saturation to give a false
1 alarm. And so it would be our judgement at this point
2 that those events are unlikely. I want to hold that
3 until we finish the case narrative. It will be sent
4 to you all during coordination period, and then its
5 tentative conclusion until people have a chance to
6 come back and talk to us. And then it will be
7 tentative until we get the Fox tape from the Sergeant.
8 But our best assessment now would be that
9 this was an unlikely -- it was unlikely to be an
10 exposure to chemical agents.
11 MR. TURNER: So if you don't have a source
12 and you don't have casualties, the detections are
13 going to be highly unlikely?
14 DR. ROSTKER: No. I went through a lot
15 more in that discussion than those two points. I went
16 through the technology of the vehicle and whether it
17 was susceptible for false alarms. I went through the
18 environment whether that was consistent for false
19 alarms. I went through the scrub of the
20 decontamination of the pulling up of the chemical
21 mines, which was the suspected source.
22 MR. TURNER: Another source issue.
1 DR. ROSTKER: Another source issue.
2 MR. TURNER: The reason I focus on those,
3 Dr. Rostker, is that the same thing we heard from DOD
4 16 months ago.
5 DR. ROSTKER: No, it's not. I'm sorry, I
6 dispute that. It is not the same thing. DOD was not
7 able to bring all of these individual pieces of
8 information to bear on the problem. And Dr. Lashof
9 asked if you make a conclusion will you tell us A, B,
10 C, D and E. And we're telling you A, B, C, D and E,
11 you chose to read A and B and forget about C, D and E.
12 And we'll lay it out.
13 If you want to draw a different conclusion
14 based upon those facts -- have at it!
15 MR. TURNER: Are you --
16 DR. ROSTKER: If you have additional facts
17 that we haven't considered then let's have a
19 MS. NISHIMI: The efficacy and the
20 accuracy of the Fox Vehicle is going to be true for
21 every single detection. That is a common threat, is
22 it not?
1 DR. ROSTKER: No, but it's matched with
2 the environment and with the other pieces of
3 information. Now Jim Schlesinger, when he was
4 Secretary of Defense liked to say "everybody's
5 entitled to their opinion, everybody's not entitled to
6 their own facts."
7 What I'm trying to do is get the facts out
8 on the table and then we can all have our opinion of
9 what these facts mean. But you asked me what was our
10 conclusion, and I'm saying based upon those pieces of
11 information as laid out in our case narrative -- and
12 I think you have the draft case narrative in all of
13 these, if not we can provide them to you -- we're
14 drawing certain conclusions.
15 If you want to draw a different conclusion
16 please be specific about why you're drawing it.
17 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Well, I can't --
18 DR. ROSTKER: If we have a different in
19 fact well let's discuss it.
20 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: We don't have a case
21 narratives at this point.
22 MS. NISHIMI: Not on the Breaching.
1 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Not on the Breaching?
2 DR. ROSTKER: We'll provide that to you in
4 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: And I think that's
5 what we need to do, look at the facts and Breaching,
6 and I agree that what we want to see are all the facts
7 laid out, and if we draw a different conclusion so be
9 I think for the sake of time I'd like to
10 really move this on to the VII Corps Frag Order.
11 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Slide 41. Okay, you
12 had asked for a report on what we've done in the
13 information that's contained in a binder, and it's
14 labelled "7th Corps Suspected Chemical Sites." I'd
15 like to point out that this in and of itself has not
16 been a specific investigation but there was a lot of
17 investigatory work done on this that we've shared with
18 you and we'll report what we've got to-date on this.
19 The original (inaudible word) was
20 discovered by a manual search of Army documents slated
21 for declassifications. They were literally in a box.
22 And one of the EOD people supporting the
1 declassification team went through it and pulled it
2 out, brought it to our attention and said hey, this is
3 important. That happened about a year ago.
4 Detailed locations of 17 "suspected
5 chemical sites before the war." What was curious
6 about this is that this list of suspected chemical
7 sites before the war didn't match what the other
8 chemical sites lists that we had. It didn't match
9 with the master target list, which listed specifically
10 chemical storage and strategic chemical sites that did
11 not match with the list of DIA sites from the battle
12 damage assessment that was produced after the war.
13 There were certainly some common parts of
14 it but there were other ones that appeared on one list
15 or the other one.
16 We took a close look at why these sites
17 were suspected as chemical storage sites. We
18 interviewed people who were associated in the various
19 organizations and lead to absolute deadends. Everyone
20 had pointed to the Intelligence Officer for the 7th
21 Corps as having that information. Again they either
22 had it and wouldn't share it with us or they pointed
1 to this one individual. One of our team members was
2 able to interview him back in October or so of last
3 year and he was not cooperative and didn't add
4 anything to our knowledge.
5 But what we do know is that the sites
6 filtered down through the chain of command and
7 eventually ended up in the 7th Corps FRAG Order,
8 Fragmentary Order of 189-91, and that was a key piece
9 of information in our mind because it directed
10 specific units to search specific sites, seven sites
11 that were in the 7th Corps.
12 After the war you had the 7th Corps and
13 the 18th Airborne Corps occupying areas in northern
14 and southern Iraq. They were in areas that had
15 previously been targeted during the air war, and this
16 was of a concern to the ground commanders.
17 The one piece of information that we had
18 was the FRAG Order. The information that had filtered
19 down to the 7th Corps that General Franks, the
20 Commander, had specifically divided up the sites that
21 was in his area of responsibility, given to specific
22 people and said safety is paramount. That's what I
1 wanted to emphasize.
2 He was very concerned about the safety of
3 his troops. He said I want maximized use of Fox
4 Vehicles, I want to ensure that people are in at least
5 MOPP 2, and if you suspect anything for chemical
6 munitions you upgrade your MOPP level. I want M9
7 detection paper attached to an arm and to a leg, and
8 then I want you to specifically go to each of these
9 sites, check it out and report back, emphasizing that
10 safety was -- he did not want to lose another single
11 life in this evolution here and he didn't want to take
12 any chances with chemical munitions.
13 Our search centered on what did they
14 report back. If they were told to report back there
15 should be some sort of paper trail that would provide
16 some evidence as to what happened, what they were told
17 to look for. But there are other questions that still
18 remain with this, what were they told to look for,
19 what was their identifying criteria.
20 And this keys on some of the comments that
21 were made earlier, if they were told to identify
22 chemical munitions purely because of the markings
1 would that had been 100 percent accurate. I think our
2 thinking now is that it would not have been, and they
3 could have possibly missed some.
4 What were they told to look for, what were
5 they told to do with it, who did the inspections, how
6 thoroughly did they inspect and what did they report?
7 Those are all unanswered questions at this particular
9 And if there had been chemical munitions
10 would they have found it? But based on what the
11 people were told to do and the orders that they
12 followed the indications that came back were that
13 there were no chemical munitions reported.
14 As I say we followed the tasking as this
15 list came all the way down from CENTCOM to ARCENT to
16 the 7th Corps and we suspect similar tasking with the
17 18th Airborne Corps but we have not been able to find
18 it yet.
19 And the types of things that we've
20 collected in addition to the original tasking we've
21 collected the commander's guidance through OP orders
22 and DOD instructions that specifically repeated a high
1 emphasis on safety, troop safety was absolutely
2 paramount. They were directed that if they had any
3 indication at all that chemical munitions were present
4 they were to secure it, they were to report it and
5 they would have competent EOD people come in and check
6 it out.
7 Now the criteria that was used after that,
8 that is a fairly difficult task to do accurately. But
9 nothing gave any indication of chemical munitions. We
10 have situation reports, and in each of the seven sites
11 for the 7th Corps at least we have multiple reports
12 back through multiple means that indicate that there
13 was no suspicion of chemical munitions.
14 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: What would have made
15 them suspicious? What do you think they could have
16 seen that could possibly have made them suspicious?
17 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Well, they're so toxic
18 they could have been -- if there was a leaker that
19 would have certainly made people suspicious.
20 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Yes. Yeah, I mean if
21 they walked in there and got sick, you know, I'd be
22 more than suspicious. Okay.
1 LT. COLONEL NALLS: Right. Well, yes,
2 ma'am. Unfortunately one of the most sensitive
3 detectives we have are humans in some situations.
4 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Yeah. But that's
5 high level.
6 LT. COLONEL NALLS: That might be the
7 first indication of something.
8 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: I mean I guess the
9 frustration on this particular group is that this is
10 the group that's most likely to be like Khamisiyah.
11 And in Khamisiyah, you know, you went in and obviously
12 had no reason to suspect, nobody thinks that we told
13 our troops to go blow up these chemicals, these
14 munitions when we knew they had chemicals.
15 I mean clearly no one thought there were
16 any chemicals at Khamisiyah. This group, these whole
17 17 fall into that category. And I don't know the
18 answer. I'm struggling to find out what it is that
19 anybody would have looked for that would have made
20 them suspicious.
21 And what it means to say they went in and
22 they looked and they had no suspicion, therefore,
1 there's nothing more we can do. Now maybe there isn't
2 anything more we can do because, you know, there's no
3 way to find these things without blowing them up again
4 and doing something.
5 LT. COLONEL NALLS: No, there is --
6 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Tell me what --
7 LT. COLONEL NALLS: There were some other
8 indications, ma'am. Other than just a leaker that
9 would certainly be a very, very strong indication if
10 it was a loose seal or something. But most of them
11 have characteristics such as filler plugs and
12 characteristic size. There are no chemical munitions.
13 Certain types of munitions we know are not chemical.
14 We've never found one in the entire world, small arms
15 fire, things along that line.
16 So only a certain size and type of
17 munition would have characteristics that would be
18 consistent with chemical.
19 DR. ROSTKER: But your point is extremely
20 well taken. We just last week we got from CNN
21 indication that they thought they had found a tape
22 from CNN crew with Khamisiyah, same day, in fact March
1 12th. And so we reviewed the tape with CNN and it was
2 actually shown on CNN over the weekend.
3 What we found was that it was a facility
4 about 60 kilometers away, and in fact, we had
5 interviewed all the people -- and it's one of the
6 sites here, one of the 17 sites. And we had
7 interviewed the people who were involved in that blow
8 and in the interview it says "and a CNN crew showed
9 up." So we showed it to CNN and said now we know who
10 the CNN crew was because we now have the CNN tape of
12 Well, it was the same kind of thing. This
13 was one of the sites, boxes of munitions, the site was
14 blown up, it was quite spectacular. No indication of
15 chemicals. But I don't think we can be -- with
16 munitions that were not marked in the magnitude of the
17 munitions that were found there.
18 In Khamisiyah there was 100 large tin
19 frame storage facilities. And most of the chemical
20 weapons we found or the U.N. found was not even in any
21 of those storage facilities. It was out in the desert
22 -- the others.
1 So I don't think we can be saying with the
2 fact that we observed all or certain about anything
3 about those periods of time in Southern Iraq. I think
4 we have a much better feel for Kuwait because of the
5 disposal operation that occurred after the war
6 involving contractors and the like.
7 But we can only tell you what the record
8 is here in this case. The people who went through it
9 did not report chemicals. We'd have the same
10 certainty in that as Khamisiyah one way or the other.
11 We don't have the --
12 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: So these are as much
13 a potential to be at Khamisiyah as anything else.
14 DR. ROSTKER: Except for the work of the
15 U.N. after the fact these were not identified as
16 chemical sites. The U.N., in there six years now,
17 have not identified any of these as chemical sites,
18 have not come up with another Khamisiyah.
19 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: I guess what I'm
20 trying to get at is there any way to -- I mean what is
21 the investigation that would go on now that would tell
22 us if not definitively any degree of assurance that it
1 couldn't have been at Khamisiyah, is there anything,
2 or is it an impossibility? And is this one that you'd
3 have to say look, there are 17 other places that we
4 blew up, we didn't think they were there? But who
6 DR. ROSTKER: I think there are two parts
7 to that answer. One is that the technology has
8 changed and I can't get into any more specifics about
9 that, we're talking about today.
10 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay.
11 DR. ROSTKER: But we'll be happy to talk
12 to the Committee privately about that.
13 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay.
14 DR. ROSTKER: The second is I would think
15 that we would, since we cannot be certain, I'd
16 certainly take as much, if not more precautions, in
17 terms of standback and MOPP gear. The 24th Division
18 stayed in MOPP because that's what General McCaffrey
19 wanted them to do explicitly. And we've talked about
20 that with the General.
21 Other divisions -- excuse me, got out of
22 MOPP quickly. The CAM Detectors, in most cases, were
1 packed up and being sent back. We certainly wouldn't
2 advise that into day's world. So even within the
3 facilities and protective gear we had we certainly
4 would want to be more cautious than we were at the
5 time, fully understanding our limits, better
6 understanding today our limits to actually determine
7 whether or not there were chemicals there.
8 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: I'm perfectly
9 satisfied at the end of this week all we can say is
10 that there are certain areas that will remain
11 uncertain, and must remain uncertain because of the
12 procedures we've followed in the past and we now know
13 what we have to do in the future and it won't happen
15 DR. ROSTKER: The --
16 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: But I just want to
17 get it on the table as fast as we can get it there.
18 DR. ROSTKER: Absolutely. And that goes
19 back to the issue that a great deal of charter is to
20 get this on the table for the future protecting our
22 We had a choice obviously of leaving all
1 of the munitions if we couldn't tell or blowing them.
2 Clearly we were in a disposal mode and we blew them.
3 We did not blow them according to standard EDO
4 procedures for destroying individual munitions. That
5 becomes clear at the blows at Khamisiyah is duplicated
6 by Dugway where the actual missile could be destroyed
7 in a classic sense was very few.
8 We made a lot of unserviceable missiles
9 that the U.N. picked up later, and broken munitions,
10 but not destroyed in the classic sense. And I would
11 point out that even some of the material presented
12 this morning the message said subject: Disposal of
13 Chemical Munitions.
14 That's mostly likely a passing on of the
15 OP Orders which are on Gulf Link and you can pull them
16 down and I know you have, talking about what would
17 happen if we found chemical munitions. The tenses
18 might have not been right because we expected to find
19 chemicals. But the clear order was if we could have
20 identified them, segregate them, do not destroy them,
21 hold them. I mean we were prying to do all of that.
22 We didn't find it.
1 Khamisiyah remains as best we can tell a
2 unique event, and we owe the U.N. great credit for
3 finding it and calling it to our attention. We didn't
4 do very well in identifying it or internalizing the
5 U.N. Report for a number of years. And that's a
6 concern of ours, and part of our internal inquiries
7 with C.I.A. about Intelligence information.
8 But these other sites we can only tell you
9 what the record is as best we can put pieces together.
10 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Are there more
11 investigations you can do or should do or will do?
12 DR. ROSTKER: Well --
13 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Or have you done
14 everything you can do on these 17 sites? That's what
15 I'm trying to find out.
16 MS. DAVIS: As a matter of fact we have
17 talked about it earlier this week. I fully expect
18 that we're going to do an investigation on the
19 chemicals, the 17 chemical sites. I can't tell you
20 what the scope is because I'm not entirely sure the
21 extent of the questions we're trying to answer or what
22 it is we need to look at.
1 There is a piece of this, I think, that
2 goes to the threat assessment, and the identification
3 of the sites, potential sites, was that a valid
4 assessment at the time that it was made, was it real,
5 was it based on good information that would help us
6 understand better what's at these sites. That's one
8 The coalition bombing and then the
9 subsequent battle assessment for some of the sites I
10 think is going to be a piece of the story. Did we
11 target these things, why did we target them and what
12 was our success rate?
13 Subsequent to that we've got the actual --
14 we have two pieces, we have the investigation, the
15 inspections. And as Art had already said a piece of
16 what we're going to try to do there is -- well, they
17 weren't inspected -- and today we may think that the
18 inspections may not have been as robust or as helpful
19 as they could have been.
20 But what, in fact, did they look for, what
21 were the kinds of things that they noted or noted the
22 absence of in making their assessments. As Dr.
1 Rostker said it's not merely that you have stripes or
2 no stripes. There are other equipment indicia of
3 certain types of weapons. As Art noted there are
4 certain rounds that we know not to contain chemical
6 So when they came back and said no, no
7 chemicals there what was it that they were basing that
8 decision on. Because we don't know that right now.
9 I think the other piece, too, is that we did, in fact,
10 blow up some of these things. One of the cases we're
11 looking into independent of this is Tallio, as an
12 example. And we know that there were, in fact,
13 disruption there.
14 And a number of the sites were inspected
15 after the war by UNSCOM. So it's going to be a case
16 of having to put all those pieces together to trace as
17 much as we know about the sites. I think we're going
18 to have 17 individual investigations on those sites.
19 My inclination is no, only because there is a
20 hierarchy of understanding how the sites were
21 identified in the first place and then how they were
22 inspected on the other end of the war.
1 DR. ROSTKER: The key factor for me is who
2 made those investigations. We don't -- and that's
3 where we'll use our postcard, were you part of the or
4 knew anybody who was on the team to do that, those
5 investigations. And then what procedures did they
6 follow because, again, that talks to what procedures
7 might they follow in the future.
8 MS. NISHIMI: Review the Intelligence
9 Record back to the negation date as was done for
10 Khamisiyah for these sites?
11 DR. ROSTKER: Yes. I mean -- but -- well,
12 Tallio, we've done the screens on those sites. When
13 the C.I.A. did their work and their report on
14 Khamisiyah they were also looking at other sites that
15 would have come up in the same way. But we're not
16 finished. We still have Walt Jaco's Intelligence
17 inquiry into all of this which covers those sites.
18 So, again, we're not finished with this.
19 But --
20 MS. NISHIMI: But for each of the 17 sites
21 there will be a comprehensive review of Intelligence
22 back in time, because as we know from Khamisiyah we
1 found different pieces that all of a sudden started
2 making a lot of sense only when taken in context.
3 DR. ROSTKER: Well, Walt Jaco's work cuts
4 across. They're looking at any Intelligence that
5 relates to chemical, bombing, any sources, and so
6 they're cutting it that way. The 17 -- will cut it
7 the other way with the specific name inquiry on the 17
9 MS. NISHIMI: So you would do a specific
10 inquiry on the 17 sites?
11 DR. ROSTKER: Oh, absolutely, when we try
12 to cut it in every way we can think of cutting it and
13 search the data bases to find reference to these
14 sites. We also in some of the data bases in the
15 operation data base are going to go back with the Army
16 and recode the data base because we find that the way
17 they were originally -- the header records were
18 created are not very helpful for research purposes.
19 So we have a large job to do there also.
20 MS. NISHIMI: And what time frame do you
21 have for --
22 DR. ROSTKER: Well, that's going to take
1 -- I mean that's going to take quite awhile.
2 MS. NISHIMI: For laying out an analytic
3 plan to detail what procedures will be --
4 MS. DAVIS: I'm on the hook to get my next
5 setup priority list, Dr. Rostker, next week. So I
6 think in terms of an analytic plan you're going to see
7 it shortly thereafter.
8 What we're looking to do is try to lay in
9 place as we go. We have a number of cases that we've
10 been working hard on that are really coming very close
11 to publication and we need to see where do we set our
12 sites next.
13 MS. NISHIMI: So at our July meeting it
14 would be possible for the Committee to be briefed on
15 how you intend to proceed in some level of detail with
16 these sites?
17 DR. ROSTKER: Let me show you how we've
18 organized this, and it may be helpful.
19 MS. DAVIS: I think this is a slide you
20 all have seen before, and I have to tell you that the
21 dates down in the far righthand side, the ones that go
22 with the issue papers I'm not comfortable with in part
1 because the first one we didn't meet. We're in the
2 process of doing a coordination on the Fox paper as we
3 speak right now.
4 But those are the cases that we've been
5 devoting the bulk of the effort as we've briefed you
6 and we've talked to you over the last couple of
7 months. You can see that at least through what we'll
8 call the (inaudible word) cases through August we
9 fully expect that those will be out in the street.
10 They will be published on Gulf Link.
11 As those teams finish up we're looking at
12 what's the next thing that's on everybody's plate,
13 what is the next thing coming up. We have some cases
14 that we have identified as clearly requiring inquiry.
15 Post-war use on Iraqi is one example, and is shown
16 there really as the -- kind of the next set of
17 examples. We do not have that list fully flushed out.
18 Now clearly there's some things that based
19 on today we're going to need to talk about in terms of
20 priorities. Edgewood tapes is a good example, and
21 having hopefully gotten some additional information
22 from you all we may be able to take a case that we
1 didn't think we could do very much with because we
2 didn't have any information to go for it, and put it
3 on our list in a way that we can move it out in
4 priority order.
5 I had asked Art to get with his team, to
6 develop a priority list and a rationale for that list
7 to get to me so I could get it to Dr. Rostker by next
8 week. My expectation is that we're going to see a case
9 on the chemical sites. And the toughest thing there,
10 frankly, is going to be for us determining what the
11 scope of that case is. While I think it's one that we
12 need to look at it and it needs to be the next wave of
13 cases I don't know how -- I don't know how big that
14 case is, I guess is the best way to say that.
15 And so we can assign it a priority. In
16 assigning it resources we need to understand is it
17 bigger than a bread box, is it big as the universe.
18 And so that's what we are going to be working on this
19 week. We'll run it up to Dr. Rostker to see whether
20 our rationale matches his and then march out.
21 So certainly by the July hearing we should
22 be able to give you both the list, the rationale and
1 a level of detail on the investigation scope for the
2 next wave of cases.
3 MS. NISHIMI: I guess I would just suggest
4 that when you -- in your thinking about the 17 sites
5 you keep in mind that they do represent, I think in
6 everyone's opinion and I think you would agree, the
7 most likely potential Khamisiyah's if we have to look
8 at -- they have the potential to involve many
10 And a premium should be placed on trying
11 to investigate these types of events.
12 DR. ROSTKER: In the case of Khamisiyah we
13 have the U.N. which is very, very important. And that
14 was a substantial lead, but not only a generic lead
15 but specifics a great deal of detail. There's nothing
16 in any of the other sites that gives us grist for the
17 mill to work with in terms of exposure.
18 We may find that a team was sloppy and
19 that may talk to procedures for the future, but I
20 don't expect that a team saying oh, yeah, we found
21 chemicals and remmants and all the kinds of things
22 we've had at Khamisiyah. I may be wrong but they are
1 strikingly different cases.
2 MS. NISHIMI: And certainly I can
3 appreciate -- I mean as we all can, the important role
4 that UNSCOM played. And so if you -- if that is laid
5 out on the table we know all of these elements, but
6 we're missing UNSCOM. I think that's an important
7 matter to just put out there. And we can go no
9 But until we lay out the lefthand side and
10 then put in that other column, but no UNSCOM no one
11 else's can get done. And no conclusion can be
12 reached. But at least we take care of the 99 percent
13 that can be done that's unrelated to UNSCOM. It makes
14 a very positive statement. And I mean that's what
15 we're looking for.
16 DR. ROSTKER: Sure.
17 MS. NISHIMI: It involves a lot of people,
18 and I think that's why it's important.
19 MR. TURNER: I also would just like to
20 point out that two of the sites of these 17 are, in
21 fact, at Khamisiyah. And just so there's no confusion
22 amongst the Committee Members those two sites are
1 different sites. That's not the Pit and that's not
2 Bunker 73. These are some coordinates within the
3 Bunker Complex.
4 You said before that Khamisiyah had had
5 your highest priority. Well, what has been done to
6 investigate the basis for going in and taking a look
7 at those two sites, those other two sites that are in
8 this list of 17?
9 DR. ROSTKER: Because for other sources
10 like Tallio, for example. Like Tallio?
11 MR. TURNER: No, there were --
12 DR. ROSTKER: I'm sorry.
13 MR. TURNER: I'm sorry, let me try again.
14 There were two other sites at Khamisiyah that were
15 identified on the 17 list as being possible chemical
16 sites. My question is what have you done to try to
17 get behind that identification, Dr. Rostker?
18 DR. ROSTKER: The issue with 12 frame
19 bunkers in shape --
20 MR. TURNER: No, there are two specific
21 geographic coordinance that are on the list of 17, and
22 then on the FRAG Order that are at Khamisiyah.
1 MS. NISHIMI: Not Tallio.
2 DR. ROSTKER: We don't -- one of the
3 mysteries, and we've worked with the C.I.A., is why
4 Khamisiyah shows up on that. We're very concerned
5 about that. And we have been --
6 MR. TURNER: I think we share your
7 concern, that's why it's --
8 DR. ROSTKER: Yeah, and we have been
9 through that. The best that we and the C.I.A. can
10 say, and I'm not -- it doesn't quite ring true is that
11 the coordinance of Khamisiyah are (inaudible word) as
12 we called it at the time, had been identified to the
13 theatre some three days before the Tasking Order. I
14 think that's right, Art?
15 LT. COLONEL NALLS: The coordinance on
16 those Tasking Orders came down through our sentence in
17 -- I think it was a little bit longer than three days.
18 DR. ROSTKER: Well, and we're not sure
19 why. We have pressed that issue and we have called
20 that to the attention of the Army IG, which is -- will
21 report completely independent of my organization, will
22 report a military operations around Khamisiyah we
1 expect in a matter of weeks, certainly by early July.
2 And what we -- what happened is these
3 kinds of issues were raised around Khamisiyah, we gave
4 them to the Army IG rather than continue to work some
5 of the operational issues at Khamisiyah. So we may
6 have some additional insight to the interviewing that
7 the Army IG was engaged in of the command structure of
8 those Divisions.
9 MR. TURNER: But your folks have not
10 located the Intelligence analyst that included those
11 two Khamisiyah sites, have they?
12 DR. ROSTKER: And neither has the C.I.A..
13 MR. TURNER: Army IG?
14 DR. ROSTKER: Well, we've given it to the
15 Army IG, but the C.I.A. looked and Jaco has looked
16 through all of the message traffic through how would
17 that information have gotten to the theatre since
18 Khamisiyah had not been generally identified as a
19 chemical site as you well know.
20 So we are at a loss to know why Khamisiyah
21 starts appearing on those -- in that kind of an order
22 except that the message which comes down through the
1 theatre about -- from the Iraqi which is now being
2 public domain, as well as the issue of 12 frame
3 bunkers versus 10 frame bunkers.
4 We similarly have a deadend in terms of
5 possible chemicals on objective goal. We have talked
6 to the people who looked at and they can't tell us
7 where it went or why it appeared to them. So there
8 are some real missing pieces here, and it's not for a
9 lack of trying to fill in of why do we suddenly see
10 Khamisiyah as a chemical site.
11 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay. Any other
13 MS. KNOX: I have a question earlier that
14 Elaine brought up about the Fox Vehicle tapes. Has
15 the standards of operation, has that been looked at to
16 be changed for the tapes now to be kept, how long will
17 they be kept in the future?
18 DR. ROSTKER: I can't answer that
19 question, but I can certainly research it.
20 MS. KNOX: Okay.
21 DR. ROSTKER: And similar in the 256 kits
22 a positive 256 kit was supposed to be secured with all
1 of the information with it. And, again, those
2 procedures were on the ground and were not universally
4 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay. Anything else?
5 DR. ROSTKER: We've talked about the
6 G-3/S-3 conference and we, I believe, will be making
7 a public announcement on Thursday about the results of
8 that conference as it pertains to people who may have
9 been in the 50 kilometers around Khamisiyah during the
10 period of 4 to 15 March, as well as at Khamisiyah on
11 the 10th, and will be briefing the staff tomorrow with
12 what those findings are.
13 We're not ready to go public today, but
14 we're looking to coordinate with the folks we need to
15 coordinate with in Washington tomorrow and talking on
16 Thursday --
17 MR. TURNER: That's which units were
18 within the 50 kilometer circle?
19 DR. ROSTKER: Yes, sir, not -- yes.
20 What's happening now we're still -- we're taking the
21 Dugway data, as I said in the beginning, that's where
22 these issues of precipitation out of sand and out of
1 the wood, that's being worked.
2 And we have the other components and we
3 are, at this point, see that we would be able to meet
4 our commitment to you by the 21st of July. If we can
5 do it sooner we'll be happy to do it sooner.
6 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay. Well, if there
7 are no other questions I think it's been a long day
8 for all of us and we thank you very much.
9 DR. ROSTKER: Well, let me just say we
10 enjoy working with the PAC, I mean it's --
11 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: It may not sound like
13 DR. ROSTKER: It is very important that,
14 you know, we communicate and that you see our working.
15 We have this dialogue, we might not always agree. But
16 it is important that we keep the diaglogue up and we
17 appreciate your commission and charter and we're doing
18 everything we can to work with the staff.
19 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Thank you. Okay,
20 staff, I think you're excused. And we have some more
21 staff discussion.
22 MS. NISHIMI: The next -- for the staff
1 discussion purposes the only real item to mention is
2 that on July 29th and 30th is the next meeting in
3 Buffalo, New York. It will be a full two days. I
4 anticipate we'll need to review the Khamisiyah
5 modeling by C.I.A. and by DOD, there are two separate
6 modeling numbers.
7 We'll be reviewing more cases, Tallio --
8 some of the ones that were up on the matrix that
9 you've received, as well as asking C.I.A. to brief on
10 some other Intelligence matters. So it will be a two
11 full days. We'll also be looking at implementation
12 regarding medical surveillance issues and
13 implementation regarding FDA and the waiver.
14 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay. Are there any
15 questions any of the Committee has for its staff? Do
16 we know about the date of September meeting yet?
17 MS. NISHIMI: No, we haven't quite firmed
18 that up, but I think I'll have that nailed down in the
19 next couple of days.
20 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay. Many people
21 would appreciate knowing that, and hopefully that
22 would be the last?
1 MS. NISHIMI: I think the Committee will
2 need to assess at its July meeting whether or not they
3 need to have a meeting in early October.
4 CHAIRPERSON LASHOF: Okay. Any other
5 questions that the Committee has, any other staff want
6 to make any final comments?
7 (No response.)
8 If not we stand adjourned. Thank you.
9 Thank the staff for all their work.
10 (Whereupon, at 4:00 P.M. the hearing was