MAJOR HEBERT TESTIFIES ON GULF WAR SYNDROME
"News" Networks (Except ABC) Close Their Eyes
C-Span carried testimony by an Army major, a Marine major, and a
Marine sergeant today who all appeared before a Congressional
subcommittee looking into Gulf War Syndrome.
Especially moving testimony was given by U.S. Marine Major Randy
Hebert. Major Hebert, a Gulf War veteran, developed "Lou
Gehrig's Disease" subsequent to that conflict, and now is unable
to speak clearly; his wife appeared with him to help clarify what
he had to say.
Hebert, much diminished from the virile Marine cheered on to war
by major media Gulf War propagandizing, was today ignored by that
same media. Only ABC News carried portions of his testimony as
their lead story; overinflated Jim Lehrer Newshour on PBS carried
*nothing* on the story. (Remember that when PBS comes whining to
you that they need money.)
This editor was brought to tears by Hebert's testimony. There
sat a man, once the image of strength and hope, now physically
ruined yet still offering his all to help his country get at the
truth. In closing remarks, Hebert noted that he had taken an
oath to defend the U.S. against all enemies, foreign and
domestic. And, he added, some of these enemies are currently
within the government itself, "unfortunately."
Pacifica radio gave in-depth coverage to the story. Here are
excerpts from their broadcast of December 10, 1996:
Up on Capitol Hill, Gulf War veterans told of their own
experience with the deadly agents.
Marine Corps Major Randy Hebert struggled as he tried to
testify before a Congressional subcommittee. His problems
began even before he left the Gulf, experiencing flu-like
symptoms, headaches, depression. Eventually, he says, he
developed what is known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease." As his
troops moved across the battlefield, Hebert says his
soldiers were ordered to put on their protective gear for
chemical weapons. His father reads Hebert's statement:
"As we approached, we received the signal for chemical
attack. We put on our masks and gloves. In doing so, I
recall my right hand feeling cool and tingling."
Two other American soldiers also gave their own accounts of
encounters with chemical agents during the war. All
indicated that their superiors were aware of what they had
Indiana Republican Steve Boulier(sp?) expressed frustration
at the slowness of the Pentagon to admit any chemical
exposure: "The powers-that-be in the Pentagon are not
accepting the word of these men. And that is very
bothersome. They keep saying, 'There is no evidence.
There is no evidence.' ... Yet when we have soldiers that
give oral testimony, have logs... [the Pentagon is] still
In the 1970s, researchers found soldiers suffering from
exposure [to chemical agents] at the Rocky Mount Arsenal,
near Denver. The Army kept stores of nerve gas and other
chemical weapons. But the study was dismissed by a new
[later] Presidential Panel, which relied on other reports
indicating there was no connection between Gulf War
Syndrome and the chemical agents.
Dr. Frank Duff, with the Harvard Medical School, was one of
the researchers at the Rocky Mount Arsenal: "The
committee, had they come out with the conclusion that it
was a reasonable possibility, would have opened the door
for lots of soldiers claiming a service-related disability.
And this would be very costly. So it's the kind of
decision that a committee would make with great care. And
I think that they put a spin on the report in the direction
of casting doubt."
The three Gulf War veterans who testified today were asked
whether they thought the Pentagon was still hiding information.
All three were unanimous in stating that more facts would come to
light regarding Gulf War Syndrome.