The Federal Government is trying to stop the Veterans used in Chemical Weapons and Drug Experiments Lawsuit (MKULTRA) etc,
In a normal expected turn of events the lawyers for the government have moved to have the lawsuit filed in January 2009 on behalf of six veterans used in the Cold War Experiments at Edgewood Arsenal between 1955 thru 1975 thrown out.
They have cited numerous reasons for dismissal, the "Feres Act" which precludes active duty military from suing the government due to actions that caused them harm while on active duty.
I do not think anyone envisioned the military would violate the Nuremberg Codes of 1947 and intentionally place enlisted soldiers in harms way thru American and foreign scientists while they were on active military duty, this violated American Law and international law of using humans in experiments without full and complete explanation about the potential harm or the expected outcomes.
Nonetheless, the Chappell exception to the availability of a Bivens action applies only to "injuries that `arise out of or are in the course of activity incident to service.'" Ante, at 684 (quoting Feres v. United States, supra, at 146). In my view, conduct of the type alleged in this case is so far beyond the bounds of human decency that as a matter of law it simply cannot be considered a part of the military mission. The bar created by Chappell - a judicial exception to an implied remedy for the violation of constitutional rights - surely cannot insulate defendants from liability for deliberate and calculated exposure of otherwise healthy military personnel to medical experimentation without their consent, outside of any combat, combat training, or military exigency, and for no other reason than to gather information on the effect of lysergic acid diethylamide on human beings.
No judicially crafted rule should insulate from liability the involuntary and unknowing human experimentation alleged [483 U.S. 669, 710] to have occurred in this case. Indeed, as JUSTICE BRENNAN observes, the United States military played an instrumental role in the criminal prosecution of Nazi officials who experimented with human subjects during the Second World War, ante, at 687, and the standards that the Nuremberg Military Tribunals developed to judge the behavior of the defendants stated that the "voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential . . . to satisfy moral, ethical and legal concepts." United States v. Brandt (The Medical Case), 2 Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10, p. 181 (1949). If this principle is violated the very least that society can do is to see that the victims are compensated, as best they can be, by the perpetrators. I am prepared to say that our Constitution's promise of due process of law guarantees this much. Accordingly, I would permit James Stanley's Bivens action to go forward, and I therefore dissent. [483 U.S. 669, 711]
Justice O'Connor can hardly can be called a liberal Justice, and even she saw the evil that was allowed to happen at Edgewood Arsenal. That which the different government agencies that would be liable if this legal action were permitted would be found liable for allowing, funding, authorization and the intentional abuse of 7120 enlisted men at Edgewood Arsenal alone.
They claim the proper venue for these claims is the Veterans Administration, where all of these veterans have turned to and been denied service connection for medical problems they believe linked to these experiments, in many cases the VA will not even address the issues of toxic exposures.
These veterans are truly caught in a catch 22 situation, they all signed National Security Act disclsoure statements, which promised each of us twenty five years at Club Leavenworth with all expenses paid, including prison garb, and free medical care, 3 meals a day and all the sex you didn't want. The government claims we are by law only allowed to file law suits against the government within six years of the date of the incident, in our cases, the dates of the experiments. We could not tell our families, wives, parents, brothers or sisters or anyone else, not even our treating doctors, could we tell a lawyer to file a lawsuit? We were under the impression just doing that would get us 25 years in Leavenworth. Catch 22.
On April 3, 2006 a reporter named Lisa Friedman wrote this report
VA ACCUSED OF FOOT-DRAGGING IN NOTIFYING "TEST VETS" -- VETERANS
EXPOSED TO CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL AGENTS ARE STILL WAITING FOR
NOTIFICATION FROM THE VA -- WHY IS THIS? -- ONE VET SAYS: "THEY
REALLY DON'T WANT TO DO IT...IF YOU WAIT LONG ENOUGH,
WE'LL ALL BE DEAD."
From there, he said, the agency plans to use personnel records and address locating services to determine if the serviceman is still living, or has surviving relatives.
In the notification letters, Pamperin said, veterans will be told the chemical they were exposed to and the dosage, and be encouraged to seek hospital tests to determine if they suffered related injuries.
"If and, hopefully, none of them have been harmed they will receive the kind of compensation they're entitled to," Pamperin said.
Well Mr Pamperin was wrong 40% of the men are presumed deceased as of FY2000, and of the 4022 survivors 54% or another 2200 men reported being disabled. Of the 25 men I am in contact with from the Edgewood experiments most are service connected for medical problems caused by military service in Vietnam or other places, but like myself their claims for problems caused by exposures at Edgewood Arsenal are denied or just flat ignored.
Needless to say the VA has been less than helpful to the veterans that have turned to them for help about Edgewood related issues. They will not ask the Institute of Medicine for the addresses of the 4022 known survivors, which the DOD paid them to locate in FY2000 for a Gulf War health study on Sarin exposure. The veterans are not lost, and are not hiding as the government lawyers claim in their court request to close this lawsuit, that even trying to find them would violate the veterans right to privacy, thats hilarious the DOD had no problem paying a civilian company under contract to the IOM to hunt down the 7120 men, they gave them access to all government databases, IRS, VA and SS. That to me seemed a greater invasion of my privacy.
In my own case when the VA was confronted by Senator Larry Craig (no jokes here, he did a good job here) he was the Chairman of the Senate VA Committee then, he asked the VA Main Office in DC for a clarification about my case, they in turn had then Director of Compensation and Pensions Renee Szybala respond to myself and his office:
The letter stated that I in fact was taken ill on 10 July 1974 and was sent home, therefore none of my current medical problems could possibly be caused by any experiments, as they had not yet started when I had left Edgewood Arsenal. She hoped this clarified the matter for me.
Her problem was she never verified what my records did show, Senator Craigs office was already in receipt of my inprocessing sheets dated 25 June 1974, my release from Aberdeen Proving Ground Hospital dated 10 July 1974 returning me to duty at Edgewood Arsenal (5 miles down the road) where I stayed and participated in the fun and games until August 22, 1974 when Edgewood Arsenal processed me out after my 60 day Temporary Duty was completed, I returned to Fort Lewis, Washington with the other nine men, I had arrived with.
A week later I received my first letter from the VA Regional Office acknowledging my use in chemical weapons and drug experiments in the summer of 1974, they wanted to know exactly what I was exposed to, how much and what date and who was present for the experiment, lol, none of us were ever told that kind of information. This was in November 2005, they attempted again in January 2006, by April 2006 they figured out a solution to their problem they raised my PTSD rating from 50% to 100% and made it P&T (permanent and total) and then attempted to claim I had agreed that in exchange for this I would drop all other pending claims, (heart disease, hypertension, GERD, psoriasis, bad back, etc) they even produced a document dated 7 December 2005 with some statement to that effect, the one problem with their document, it was not round dated as all other documents in the claims file are, and December 7 2005 was a Wednesday and all veterans with claims knows the VA Regional office does not see veterans as all of the Service Officers are busy in Traveling Board Hearings or Teleconferences adjudicating Board of Veteran Appeals. Someone may have signed a paper on December 7 2005, but it wasn't I.
Bottom line is that these veterans and their widows deserve a day in court, let the Judge and jury hear all of the evidence and then let the chips fall where they may. I am sure it will be appealed to the Supreme Court, but these veterans at least deserve to have this aired publicly so the nation will know what was done to these men and their families in the name of National Security, and how now nearly 35 - 55 years later the government does not want to be held accountable for their indiscretions.