Gulf vets ask Rumsfeld ouster
By Joe Baker, Senior Editor
The American Gulf War Veterans Association is calling for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The group acted after Rumsfeld, under questioning by Sen. Robert Byrd, D-WV, denied any knowledge of biological weapons being shipped to Iraq in the 1980s.
Asked about U.S. shipments to Iraq at that time, Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee he had no knowledge of any such shipments and doubted that they ever occurred.
The veterans say evidence of such shipments is beyond any doubt. They say strong proof the U.S. furnished Iraq with bacteria and viruses is contained in Senate Report 103-900. The report is titled United States Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and Their Impact on the Health of the Persian Gulf War Veterans. The report is dated May 25, 1994. It was issued by the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee of the Senate, chaired by Sen. Donald Riegle (D-Mich.).
All senators have access to the report, which listed anthrax, West Nile virus and Clostridium botulinum among the pathogens shipped to Iraq in the 1980s with the full knowledge of the Department of Commerce and the Centers for Disease Control.
The veterans group believes if the secretary of defense is unaware of the sales of biological materials to a country with which we are about to fight, or if he denies the fact these sales occurred, then he is a clear and present danger to the lives of U.S. military forces, the country and the American people.
The American Gulf War Veterans Association said Rumsfeld should be considered a very serious threat to national security and calls for his resignation and removal from office. The spokeswoman for the AGWVA is Joyce Riley VonKleist, RN, BSN.