|Inquiry into Gulf
War illnesses - London, July - September 2004
1.Vaccinations, organophosphates, NAPS,
burnt-oil smoke, blowing up of Iraqi chemical weapon depots
Nicol, Flight Lieutenant, 12 July
[the soldiers] went through a multiple immunisation programme of up to 14
and sometimes over 14 inoculations, many troops having had a large number
of competing vaccines in a single session which included, to name just a
few, anthrax, whooping cough, plague and cholera.
Secondly, they experienced the first ever mass use of NAPS tablets,
that is the nerve agent pre‑treatment set to be used as an antidote
against chemical weapons.
were exposed to a heavy use of pesticides, including locally purchased
ones, and organophosphates over which there are now many safety questions.
They were exposed to atmospheric pollution from burning oil wells.
There was a possible exposure to nerve agents when Iraqi chemical
weapons storage facilities were destroyed.
Christine Lloyd, Territorial Army, 12 July 2004.
January I received the following vaccinations: yellow fever, typhoid,
cholera, hepatitis B, meningitis. On
my vaccination record card it says biological but I do know now that it is
anthrax and also Pertussis. I
do hold my original vaccination card, well safely locked away. We also began taking anti‑malaria treatment.
We were taking palludrine, one daily, and chloroquine, one
We later found out that all the accommodation had been treated
with organophosphate sprays and in the accommodation block where I was
situated there was organophosphate powder around the accommodation
Some of the drugs that arrived were out‑of‑date. The equipment was well suited to World War II...
The order then came that we start taking nerve agent protection
tablets, one every eight hours. I,
like others, reacted to the NAPS tablets and I was actually taken to our
own sick bay by one of my colleagues because at that time I was
disorientated, I was dizzy, I really had not a clue what I was doing or
where I was...
On 24 January I had further vaccinations.
I had anthrax, Pertussis and the plague vaccine... On 25 February
we had further vaccines - anthrax, plague and hepatitis B.
Alex Izett, Corps of the Royal Engineers,
12 July 2004.
In other cases of cancer, which has been mentioned here, I definitely
think the burning oil wells, depleted uranium or maybe nerve agents might
have caused those problems. As
I say, in my specific case I can see it being... the inoculations…
then received five inoculations on one day and the next day I had to
report again and I received another four inoculations.
I was a young lad, I was 21 years old. I thought what I was doing
was right and it must be a thing we have to have to go to the Gulf.
Two days before the planned deployment before we were supposed to
be sent to the Gulf the War finished.
Rusling, Vice Chairman of the
National Gulf Veterans and Families Association, 12 July 2004.
given routine vaccinations hepatitis B, hepatitis A, polio, yellow fever,
tetanus, meningococcal C... I was given further hepatitis B and cholera
vaccinations and three other vaccinations which I was advised were
biological. It must be noted
that none of the vaccinations, routine or otherwise, were recorded on my F
Med 4 medical documentation despite my documents being present at the time
of vaccination in the UK...
After a few days... [I was] given another
vaccine in each arm and issued anti‑malarial tablets and nerve agent
pre-treatment tablets, commonly known as NAPS...
understand that troops had been refusing the vaccines and not attending at
designated times hence Part One orders were written to ensure attendance.
Failure to attend could lead to court martial.
I was given one in the upper right arm, one in the left...
days later we were ordered to have another course of injections.
There seemed to be a rush to be ready for ground operations. These
two again we are given in the upper right arm and outer right quadrant (my
bum, my Lord!) This injection
gave me terrible pain and led to parasthesia and I was literally dragging
my leg around...
It must be questioned when the massive chemical weapons
pits at Al Khamisiyah were blown up, not once or twice but at least four
times between 1 and 10 March 1991, could the Army MoD have protected the
troops by masking the troops up? However,
the facts are that we were walking about with no protective suits or
respirators during the demolition of not just this pit but others
containing weapons of mass destruction, containing Sarin Cyclo Sarin...
There were 16 associated weapons pits blown up. Khamisiyah itself was
blown up four times...
Vaccinations and medications you were given for the
Gulf War were classified secret, therefore would not be recorded...
In 1997 the MoD admitted that a facsimile was sent by the
Department of Health to the MoD advising the MoD of concerns and anxieties
over giving anthrax vaccine in conjunction with the whooping cough (Pertussis). At the time of the admission of this fact the MoD stated they
did not know who had sent the fax and did not know who received it at the
MoD. This was an untruth.
The fax was from Dr Jeremy Metters, Department of Health, to the
Secretary of State for Defence. … [Organophosphates] had been purchased
in Saudi Arabia with Arabic instructions which led to the wrong
concentrations being put down in troop areas.
Cammock, Chairman of the Gulf Veterans Association, 12 July
February I had the unfortunate episode of having to call in to a United
States refuelling depot half way up the military supply road to refuel the
vehicle. I stood in a convoy
of 1,500 vehicles. Every day
between four o’clock and six o’clock, for any vehicles in that
refuelling unit the road was blocked by military police to stop them going
out, and within that period of time everybody who was on that base had to
Americans, when they do their inoculations it is not done through informed
consent, it is compulsory that you have them.
The medical team come round. They
are slightly better than ours because they have doctors doing it whilst
medical orderlies can do the inoculations here.
The doctors come round with four military policemen and the
military policemen are there to hold you down if you try and refuse your
Edward Walker, Royal Army Ordinance Corps, 12 July 2004.
happened was that they came round to the camp areas, especially the
censored areas and the wash-down areas, and sprayed everything whether or
not we were inside the tents asleep.
Alcorn, Duke of Wellington Regiment, 12 July 2004.
were then subjected to about 11 to 12 injections in either arm.
No informed consent was given or asked for.
When asked what we were receiving, I was told that we had been
given just another routine vaccination... Every morning after taking these
NAPS tablets my hands and lower jaw would become numb.
After seeking help, I was told that this was normal as my nerves
were being protected... We also passed through burning oil fields thick
with black smoke which looked like night-time to the naked eye.
Vicky Warriner, veteran's former wife, 12 July 2004.
husband] told me that... he walked through a tent with both his sleeves
rolled up and that they were jabbing him in each arm.
He was not altogether sure what he was given. He also told me that he was given tablets which did not make
him feel very well and he spoke to people about them and they told him to
keep taking them.
Noel Baker, First Battalion, 12 July 2004.
I spoke to
somebody many years after who said they were given the option of whether
they had [the vaccination] or not. It
did not transpire down to our level that we had an option.
Sharpe, RAF, 12 July 2004.
given eight inoculations… I do not think that they took any notice of
previous injections. Some of
those injections you are not supposed to have within a year and nothing
was done about what you had had previously.
Stephen Roberts, 16/5 Queen’s Royal Lancers, 12 July 2004.
As far as immunisation is concerned, I remember lining up for several of
these over a two-day period but was not always aware of what they were.
Basically, we were not told what they were; we were lined up with
our sleeves rolled up and they were pumped in... I also felt at the time
and my records show that I was exposed to nerve agent... The MoD denied at
first but since has agreed with me that I was in the area of the exposure
at the ammunitions depot at Khamisyia Depot.
At the time, all our NIADS indicated sarin, which is a nerve
agent poison. They all
indicated that we were exposed to sarin and, at the time, we were not
wearing chemical defence equipment... We were told afterwards that there
was no such exposure. However,
since, I have received a letter from the MoD stating that I was in the
area at the time it was blown up and that, if I have any problem with
sarin poisoning, I should take that up with the American Government
because they were the ones that blew the factory up..
Russell Walker, RAF, 12 July 2004.
We were given a further course of injections.
I do not know what they were; I have no medical records to tell me
what they were; I have asked many times for information as to what they
were and it has been refused. We were also given NAPS and malaria tablets.
The injections were given over a 48-hour period and I probably
received 12 to 14 injections in total.
Turnbull, RAF, 19 July 2004.
On 4 January 1991 everyone in the camp at Dharan was ordered to attend for
inoculations with the stipulation that non-attendance would be met with
disciplinary action. When we
attended the next morning for these inoculations we were given no
information at all about what we were receiving.
We were given no chance to ask about possible side effects to the
massive number of injections they were planning to give us...
Over a ten
minute period I received, to my knowledge, anthrax, Bubonic Plague,
Cholera, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, meningitis and a
couple of others I am not too sure about.
These were not given as single injections but as inoculations
containing two or three vaccinations at a time… You were stood there
with one person that side injecting you and one person that side injecting
Humphreys, RAF, 19 July 2004
I never left the UK... I strongly suspect the reason for my ill health is
due to the inoculations... I asked what I was being given. I was told
“it’s what everybody who’s going to the Gulf is having”.
I handed over my B Med27, which is a personnel inoculation card, to
get the inoculations recorded on it and was told there was no need.
I questioned this, and the reason I did question it was because if
you did not have that up to date it was a chargeable offence…
[Squalene was] injected to make the vaccine work better.
It causes autoimmune disease...
Dr Moonie, who was the Minister for Veterans at the time...
categorically denied the use of squalene as an adjuvant.
This was confirmed in a letter dated 31 August which was written by
Mr Stephen Trout on Mr Moonie’s behalf.
In March 2003, less than 18 months after their categorical denials,
vials of British anthrax were washed up on the South Coast.
These vials were tested and found to contain squalene…
I did write to PMA at RAF Innsworth where they keep all our
files and requested my medical file and my personnel file. In my personnel file, every movement that I made, even a
day’s detachment to another unit, is recorded on that. There is nothing at all whatsoever, not even a little
snippet, of anything to do with my deployment to the Gulf...
In my medical
file there are three words that are partially obscured by another entry
and you can only just make out that it says “Fit Operation Granby”.
When I wrote and questioned this I had a reply from RAF Innsworth
saying they do not understand why my recollection appears to be so
different from what is actually recorded.
It is as if I never went, never had anything to do with it.
Michael Capps, Royal Corps of Transport, 19
We had several injections... but I was never told what they were for...
The tents were sprayed but we were not told with what or what the reason
was. I was ordered to take
NAP tablets from 17 January onwards... On travel from location to location
to refuel our tankers we would travel through the smoke of the burning
Royal Signals, 19 July 2004.
to deployment with RAOC AMF(l) we received a number of vaccines and, from
memory, it was about four injections a day twice over a short seven-day
period... As it was, when
I arrived in March 1991, the land war had just finished and I was employed
in the Gulf in my trade as a petroleum operator.
This entailed cleaning up/organising all military petroleum and
lubricants for transportation back to the UK.
One of the main tasks and most unpleasant was decanting thousands
of army jerricans which were from all over the theatre of operations and
placing the fuel back into large bulk fuel containers.
We had no protective equipment or facemasks, only thin fatigues and
desert boots. We worked long
hours in extreme temperatures for two months whilst completing this task
and I can still taste the petrol in my mouth now from when we did this
Pritchard, Queen's Dragoon Guards, 19 July 2004.
We started having inoculations in Germany where we were based prior to the
Gulf and also various inoculations in theatre itself, various injections
and tablets we were taking, almost on a willy nilly basis... There
was deep concern on the ground with the men in general and the amount of
inoculations that were suddenly appearing in the Gulf, but we were not in
a position to question. We
had to accept them. We could
not refuse. We were ordered
to take these various drugs.
Graham, a veteran's widow, 19 July 2004.
My husband said] "Oh, I have had another set of vaccinations
again today, I am going to be a pin cushion by the time I have
finished", and it seemed to be a constant thing that was going
on for quite a number of weeks before he went, that he was taking an
amount of vaccinations, and when he actually arrived in the Gulf he
wrote to me and said, "I thought I had got away with this
and I am still receiving yet more vaccinations"…
THE CHAIRMAN: Would you agree that perhaps that [the destruction he
saw during the war] was the cause of his change of mood rather than the
injections and vaccinations he had?
A. No, I would
not, because he had seen such active service elsewhere.
He had seen quite a few things in Northern Ireland,
particularly in the ‘70s, particularly serving with the Parachute
regiment that he talked freely about for years, and it never upset him in
the same way. Obviously he was not happy about them but they never upset
him in the same way.
Willson, RAF, 19 July 2004.
January I had I think either six or seven vaccines given in both
arms, and again two days later I had exactly the same vaccines pumped
into me... Although I took my air crew vaccination record they
refused to put anything on there... I thought they were doubling up
vaccines I already had... I was taking the NAPS tablets as
well… Almost 100 per cent
of sick Gulf veterans, that have been tested, test positive for squalene
THE CHAIRMAN: Any
particular vaccine, can you recall, or not?
A. Well, the anthrax vaccines from the United States
had squalene in them.
Dr Nigel Humphrey Graveston, Chair of the National Gulf Veterans
and Families Association, 33 Field Hospital RAMC at Al Jubail in Saudi
Arabia. Consultant anaesthetist in the army, 19 July 2004.
I had three anthrax vaccinations and with the whooping cough two of
them are dated and one is not dated.
There is no record of my plague vaccination… If you are going to
have a whole lot of vaccines, as certain of the veterans did, this could
lead to a considerable amount of mercury being given in a short period of
time to the veterans. Mercury
is a very, very toxic compound; it is the most toxic metal which is not a
are organophosphates in the form of chemical warfare agents: Sarin, or
Cyclo-Sarin; and insecticides in the form of sprays or flea collars;
infections have been implicated; combat stress – which does not explain
the non-deployed people and the people who were in more rural areas –
and depleted uranium...
The anthrax vaccine was devised to protect veterinarians, workers
in laboratories and in the hair-and-hide industries against cutaneous
anthrax. The mode of
delivery, if one were to use anthrax as a biological weapon, would be in
the form of anthrax spores and an aerosol.
There is no evidence that this would protect anybody against
aerosol-delivered anthrax. The manufacturers’ recommended administration
regime is four doses over 32 weeks. Veterans were given the anthrax vaccinations over much
shorter periods of time...
Not very much was known about the anthrax and
plague vaccines, and probably nothing was known about giving so many
vaccines together in such a short period of time.
For medical science, this is undoubtedly virgin territory... There
is no precedent to giving so many vaccinations to so many people, all over
a short period of time.
Raymond Bristow, military warrant officer
theatre technician and combat medical technician, both Class 1, 19 July
given routine vaccinations for Hepatitis A, Polio, Yellow Fever, Tetanus,
Meningococcal C... I was given a further Cholera vaccine, and three other
vaccines, which I was advised were biological – and no other description
It must be noted
that none of the vaccines, routine or secret vaccines, were recorded on my
F Med 4 medical documentation, despite my documents being present at the
time, here in the UK. I was
given another vaccine in each arm and issued anti-malarial tablets and
nerve agent pre-treatment tablets, or NAPs...
Whilst at Blackadder camp
there was constant spraying of the tended area with liquid around the
doorways and window area and in the latrines and dining areas by civilian
employees with plastic canisters. The
civilians were what I believe are called Saudi guest workers.
They did not wear any protection equipment other than a rag over
their faces, and nobody thought anything about it at the time.
I/we did not know that the product being used, Diazanon was harmful
to man, and a sheep-dip type pesticide, which I believe is banned in the
In fact, we were briefed that the air strikes had released Sarin
nerve gas into the atmosphere. However,
the next day the “powers that be” decided to change their minds and
said the alarms were due to the incineration of rubbish... Troops had not
been going for their vaccines at their designated times – because we
were a hospital there were night shifts, day shifts, and some people were
asleep. Part One Orders were
produced to ensure attendance. It
stated that failure to attend could lead to court martial.
Andrew Hazard, Royal Engineers, 19 July 2004.
We started receiving vaccinations at the end of August, early September,
1990... We were not told [what they were] at the time.
That continued every two or three weeks; we reported to the med
centre for more vaccinations... The final round of shots we had were round
about Christmas 1990... We received seven or eight injections plus the
I asked what I was
being given on that occasion purely because I thought I was getting a
double dose of things I had already had... We were asked to read what I
believe was an amendment to the Official Secrets Act and told to sign our
name on a nominal roll just to say we had read it and received the
vaccinations. As soon as we
had had them, we were told that should we have any illness in later life,
then we would not be able to make a claim on the basis of these
Brigadier Robin Garnet, Chairman of the
Medical Advisory Committee for the Royal British Legion, 21 July 2004.
Khamisiyah and the other two where munitions were blown up that had
nerve agents in them… I believe that civilians in the area could be
affected as well.
Michael Barber, Royal Corps of Transport,
21 July 2004.
As soon as we got
off the plane, about two hours after we got off the plane, we were sent to
a tent where we were told --- they just said it was some kind of
injections. They did not
explain to us what they were.
Can you remember how many?
A. I think it was round about six injections... We had to go
back in the next day; we had some more injections the day after... Also we
were told to start taking NAPs tablets.
How many of those did you take?
A. It was one a day…
We did carry a lot of ammunition on the back.
There were a lot of ammunition dumps at the time when I was out
SIR MICHAEL DAVIES: The
sprays were being used around the ammunition dumps?
Brown, RAF, 21 July 2004.
In 1988 I was administered with vaccines for protection against cholera,
polio, TABT and meningitis A and C. Also,
as a precaution against malaria, I was prescribed with the correct tablets
required for a particular area of operations.
In late 1989 I was also vaccinated against yellow fever... On 9
January 1991 at RAF Lyneham I was vaccinated with anthrax (batch 01/90)
and pertussis (batch CO251A) with no lingering after-effects...
patio area a locally employed person was often observed carrying out
insect spraying duties. Obviously,
in the cool of the morning the insects could be caught resting, but
encountering this person at his work caused personnel to protect their
food and themselves as best as possible from the fallout of the spraying
which smelt rather like creosote. The
substance also left the greasy coloured appearance of petrol on the
surface of the swimming pool. The
pool was used a great deal for recreation and exercise.
After cease flying on 31 January 1991 the crew were required to
report to the field medical unit in the basement of King Khalid Airport
for further vaccinations. I
was administered with anthrax (batch 343/E) and pertussis (batch E1138)...
After this experience as a crew we elected not to have the final
batch of vaccinations. Shortly after hostilities started we were ordered to start
taking NAPs tablets... Our initial flight to Kuwait was at approximately
5,000 feet but because of the oil smoke we had to descend below this to
approximately 1,000 feet. Our
initial descent took us through the smoke and because of the acrid smell
we encountered the aircraft air conditioning was shut down and auxiliary
ventilation had to be selected to purge the fuselage interior.
On landing and before take-off I had to remove from the windscreens
a film of dark, partially burnt oil.
Bosworth, Ordnance Corps, 21 July
Whilst in the Gulf we had three sets of vaccinations. The first set was on 3 January, which consisted of anthrax
and pertussis, which I am sure you know is more commonly known as the
whooping cough vaccine. The
second set was administered on 30 January 1991 and consisted of anthrax,
pertussis and yersinia. The
third set was on 23 February 1991, which was anthrax and yersinia.
All the vaccinations were recorded in my BMED27 and I believe they
have batch numbers next to them and the dosage.
Going on to when I had the vaccines administered, the first set was
given to us at Al Jubayl, at the tent compound, and we were basically
given no briefing. We were
basically told, “Go and have the vaccinations”.
I was a young soldier of 22, I did what I was told, as did the
whole unit. Everybody went,
everybody got vaccinated. When
we got to the desert we were ordered to take NAPs tablets every eight
hours in early January, just prior to the start of the air war and just
prior to the administering of the second set of vaccinations, and again we
simply followed orders...
The second set of vaccinations was slightly different to the first
set. Although we had the same
OC who was in location at the time, on this occasion at the forward
formation area he did actually brief us.
He told us that the injections were optional but he said that he
was going to have them and he strongly advised us that we have them as
well. He gave us a dire
warning that even if we were hit by the anthrax vaccine the lining of our
lungs would disintegrate and drown us.
It is also worth noting that this OC warned us once that one in
five of us would die. I do
not know his reasons behind that. He
reassured us that the anthrax vaccine had been safely used on a remote
Scottish island many years previously and that the scientists involved
were all fine. At no time was
there any mention that there was any risk of taking the multiple
vaccinations. This was not
were given the second set of injections there was one soldier who did turn
down the anthrax vaccination, but he took all the others, which I found
very odd at the time. I did
not quite understand why he would not have the anthrax vaccine.
Interestingly enough, I found out afterwards that his father was a
major at another unit serving in the Gulf and that he had been in
communication with him, so the soldier refusing makes some sense now.
Obviously, his father knew something and relayed it to him...
The third set of vaccinations was given when I was with 4 Ord
Battalion, again no briefing. We
were simply told to get the injections the same as the first time round...
I always wondered where I was when the Khamisiyah dumps were bombed, and
from Sean’s evidence I read this morning that I was in the vicinity of
Some other relevant information you have probably heard
before but I would still like to bring it up.
There was a fax that went missing.
The National Institute for Biological Standards and Control sent a fax
to Dr Metters at the Department of Health who send it to the MoD in
1990, December, before the Gulf War started regarding concerns in
administering the anthrax vaccine and the Pertussis vaccine together.
However, the MoD, as you are already aware, still ordered the
vaccination programme though they were aware of the possible dangers...
Another point: I watched
the Trevor Macdonald Tonight
programme last year which discussed the vials of anthrax washed up on a beach
in Dorset. They were tested
in a lab and found to contain the illegal adjuvant squalene.
The MoD admitted they had fallen off the back of a Royal Navy
ship, as they were MoD vials. However,
on this programme, Dr Lewis Moonie sat there and pompously refused to
accept the findings of what he called “chemists”, even though the
vials were tested in a genuine laboratory by qualified laboratory
Michael Roy Lingard, RAF, 21 July 2004.
I received a comprehensive set of inoculations whilst at Brize Norton.
However, once in theatre I was told to stand in line and
receive another batch of inoculations.
I do not know what injections were administered.
No records were kept and my name was not asked for... I was also taking the nerve agent pre-treatment NAPS,
along with anti malarial tablets…
SIR MICHAEL DAVIES: Were you
exposed to fly spraying?
A. We were heavily exposed to the spray.
It used to come in a white can and it used to say “Do not
spray in confined spaces”. Well,
this was not always possible and things like the mosquitoes and the
various insects that were out there you really did not want around your
bed, so we used to spray this in the tents a bit like a fog
sometimes, and I chuckle sometimes now because you can go to the shop
and buy a tin of fly spray and the fly buzzes around for quite a few
hours before he eventually dies, but I remember with this particular
insecticide that we used things just used to drop off the tent like rain
once you had sprayed that initial burst, so it must have been particularly
powerful, the actual insecticide inside.
Gerard Davey, RAF, 21 July 2004.
The rest of us, I do not think were ordered to take vaccine or
injections the way the army guys were.
I think we were advised to, and it was a case of
“Do you want black plague or anthrax or an injection?” and I think
the majority of us took the injection...
We did have environmental health technicians with us who did spray
the tents, etc, but at the time we would not have thought it was going to
be a problem because we were in a foreign land so you want to
keep your hygiene to a high state so we carried on with the spraying,
with no information to the opposite.
Derek Hall, RAF medical personnel, 27 July 2004.
I enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1972 and although I would never have
described myself as fighting fit I had a full medical category for many
years and aesthetic body weight and habitus.
In 1991 I was required, like so many others, to undergo various
immunisations and vaccinations in the space of one day which alarmed me
because I knew from my training that what was being proposed conveyed
very, very great risks. I
made my concerns known to the most senior colleague I could find at the
I was fairly roughly removed from the hangar by two RAF
regiment guards and kept isolated in a corridor for one and a quarter
hours or thereabouts while telephone traffic took place and then I was
marched in front of a colleague who informed me reasonably curtly that the
message from on high was that I should be seen to set an officerly
example, bite the bullet and take the same jabs as the troops.
I reiterated again to him my concern that it was planned to give me
the Pertussis vaccination. I
told him in no uncertain terms that I was already immune to it having had
the disease naturally in my earlier life.
Nonetheless I was required to have it.
That plus anthrax...
THE CHAIRMAN: Was that quite
a normal way of ---?
A. No, contrary to all
accepted medical opinion that I have ever heard or read…
I knew very well that service personnel had no right whatsoever to
refuse treatment. It was
given as a direct order.
Sigmund, since 1967 and for some years secretary of the Working Party on
Chemical and Biological Weapons, 28 July 2004.
there must have been mental stress as the senior Army officers that you
have seen described because being afraid that you are going to be attacked
by these terrible weapons must have been very stressful. [However,] it stretches one’s understanding of these things
to believe that was the only issue. I
am absolutely convinced myself that a combination of all these chemicals
has produced a series of severe illnesses among these people.
DR JONES: In your submission,
Mrs Sigmund, you state: “I do not believe that the use of
organophosphates or the possible exposure of soldiers and other workers to
nerve gas could be the sole cause of all the symptoms...”
That is a fairly strongly stated position.
What led you to that position?
A. My experience with farmers who had been exposed, as far as we
know, only to organophosphate pesticides in sheep dipping who had similar
symptoms but not nearly the range that has been reported by Gulf veterans
and perhaps of not the same severity.
I talked to doctors too. We
have a great friend who is a specialist in anaesthetics and we discussed
this subject in great depth. He
said that he does believe that the OPs could have exacerbated the reaction
to perhaps the multiple vaccines that were given to people but just an
exposure to OPs would not have caused the range and severity of symptoms
Malcolm Hooper, Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the
University of Sunderland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Gulf War
Veterans, 28 July 2004.
Yes, the oil and smoke exposure, which anyone considering that
would say it must have some effect on their health because they were
inhaling droplets of oil which are laced with carcinogens and heavy
metals; they were bathing in it; it was raining oil; they were blackened
over; they could not see because of the smoke; they were inhaling all the
Congressman Bernie Sanders, State of Vermont, USA, 2 August 2004.
know, in Khamisiyah low-level sarin gas was released inadvertently and
there has been a huge debate in the United States.
How did that impact? Where
did that plume go? I know
that is an issue that you are dealing with as well.
The history of the question of how many coalition troops were
exposed to chemical nerve agents in the Gulf is a very sorry one.
For five years the Pentagon denied that our soldiers had been
exposed to any chemical warfare agents.
Finally, in June 1996, after being forced to admit that there were
exposures, they suggested that the exposures were limited.
The defence department's first estimates were that 400 troops were
exposed, then 20,000 troops. In
1997 the defence department and the CIA gave us their best estimate that
as many as 98,000 American troops could have been exposed to chemical
warfare agents due to the destruction of the depot in Khamisiyah.
In 2000 the defence department changed the location affected by the
Khamisiyah explosion. So,
while it reaffirmed its estimate of 100,000 being exposed, it changed the
identity of 34,000 of the soldiers.
other words, we really have not had good evidence as to where that plume
went and what soldiers, whether American or British, were exposed.
Lawrence Halloran, Staff Director and
Council of the Subcommittee on National Security and the Public Committee
on Federal Reform, 2 August 2004.
a fact that the vaccine has injured more people than anthrax has.
James Tuite III, consultant, former Special
Assistant to the Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing
and Urban Affairs for National Security and Dual‑use Export
Policies, 2 August 2004.
The Czech Ministry of Defence confirmed the detection of chemical agents
near the Iraqi border. We...
believe that this was as a result of the bombing and fall‑out from
the instruction of the Iraqi chemical weapons research production storage
We established in this investigation that chemical agent
detectors used by US forces during the Gulf War were not sufficiently
sensitive to detect sustained low levels of chemical agent and to monitor
personnel for contamination. Yet,
these alarms continued to sound during the air war raids on the Iraqi
chemical warfare research, storage and production infrastructure...
The levels of agent were sufficiently high to set off the detectors
even though they were that insensitive to occupational and local
Finally, we uncovered conclusive evidence that the United States
shipped biological materials to Iraq which contributed to the Iraqi
biological warfare programme... Despite the fact that the Czech, the
French and some United States commanders were confirming that [the alarms]
were sounding because of trace amounts of nerve agents in the air from the
coalition bombing of Iraqi chemical facilities, storage depots and
bunkers, the United States troops were repeatedly told that there was no
danger. Some reported to the
Committee that in some cases they were told to turn the alarms off because
they were sounding so often during the air war.
Many of these veterans were also subjected to a variety of
preventive medicine measures, including the time‑compressed
administration of multiple vaccines, individual vaccines of concern and
nerve agent pre-treatment pills, all of which may play a role in the
illnesses of particular individuals... I have seen some British veterans who received as many as 22
immunisations over an 18 day period and then they were not deployed...
Pyridostigmine bromide at the NAP dose is supposed to do this in a
reversible way so that it binds up these enzymes or receptors and
they are not available to the nerve agent.
After the threat passes, they become available again so that the
person can use them. After
people had the NAPS tablets in the studies that were done, they also
received diazepam. They received antidotes to the pills themselves and that did
not occur during the war. You
have this potential for illnesses being directly related to the pills.
Rhodes, chief technologist at the [US] Government Accountability Office, 2
France, the United Kingdom and the United States
adopted different combinations of protective drugs and vaccines against
the threat of chemical or biological exposure.
They employed these drugs and vaccines to various extents.
Some differences could be attributed to the nations having
identified different threats.
example, France did not identify a biological threat and did not use
vaccines to protect against biological threats.
It reportedly relied more on protective gear than either the United
States or the United Kingdom did. Similarly,
while the United Kingdom identified plague as a threat, the United States
did not and therefore did not require immunisation of its troops against
The three nations use
or selection of medical countermeasures differed somewhat, even when they
identified the same threat. For
example, the United Kingdom and the United States both identified
botulinum toxin as a threat but the United Kingdom addressed it with
antitoxin to be given after exposure, the United States with
investigational botulinum toxoid vaccine to be administered before
Finally, the use of medical countermeasures for biological and
chemical threats varied within and across national commands.
For example, official report and survey data show that the United
States administered botulinum toxoid vaccine to only a small portion of
its forces. The United
Kingdom reported that it administered the first anthrax injection to more
than 75 per cent of its deployed forces, fully vaccinating some units.
Perot, 3 August 2004.
vaccine, even though it was not approved, you would get a court-martial if
you did not take it, and you are supposed to be given one shot a month
over six months, but they would give soldiers six shots in one month going
into combat and the mercury levels in the body far exceeded levels which
would not do you damage, so there are things like that.
Nancy Kingsbury, US Government Accountability Office, 3 August 2004.
until the last five or six years nobody thought very much about what
the reaction and prospects would be for someone exposed to inhalational
anthrax. I think we thought
about it and the early anthrax vaccine was largely developed against
do not carefully record what vaccines an individual got at what point in
time and what happened to them later, you cannot answer that question, and
although the DOD has said, coming out of the experience of what we have
reported on the first Gulf War into the current conflict in Iraq, that
they were going to keep better records, the urgency of the deployment of
troops, and in our case a huge number of troops from reserve and guard
regiments which was contemplated from a doctrinal point of view but not
contemplated from a reality test point of view, I think when we get around
to looking at it, and we probably will in a year or two or three, not
necessarily my work but somebody, I think we are going to find that the
record‑keeping fails us again with respect to actually tracking what
has happened to individuals...
DR JONES: It did lead, as far as I can make out, to situations in which
vaccines and inoculations were given with no prior documentation of what
that particular soldier had had before?
DR JONES: Which is
Andrew Mason, civilian contractor of British Aerospace, 3 August
missile burst above my position and I collapsed some time after that.
It has been my belief since then that some of those missiles were,
in fact, loaded with chemical warheads…
I put this down to the scud event primarily, but also quite
possibly taking the NAPS pills after the event because they were nerve
agent pre-treatment sets to be taken before.
THE CHAIRMAN: How did you get the NAPS pills?
They were issued to you by whom?
A. By the company.
Dr Meryl Nass, Mount Desert Island
Hospital, Maine, USA, 1 September 2004.
When you actually get down to the nitty-gritty and start looking at the
FDA inspection reports of the plant, then you throw up your hands and you
are quite concerned because you see that none of the procedures that
should have been followed in a vaccine manufacturing organisation were
being followed, not only for anthrax vaccine but there were enormous
numbers of quality control failures in the United States in all the
products that were made at that factory.
We thought we were the only ones with that problem but you
apparently had some similar problems here in the UK because your
manufacturing facility also had to be shut down and revamped…
start[ed] seeing that there had been a whole series of these various
adjuvant boosters that had been used which took a vaccine that was of very
low efficacy and turned it into a high efficacy vaccine and none of these
immune boosters are licensed in the United States and I do not believe
that they are licensed in the UK either.
So, they were used in animal experiments and they subsequently have
not been licensed.