Tuesday, June 17, 2008




Veterans Administration Never Told Test Subjects Drug Might Cause Suicide

"Congressman: Stop Drug Testing on Vets Now and Investigate"

" 'Nearly 40 suicides and more than 400 incidents of suicidal behavior have been linked to Chantix, yet the VA has chosen to continue the study and administer Chantix to veterans with PTSD,' said Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA).

Yesterday, a report on Good Morning America revealed that mentally distressed veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are being recruited for government tests on pharmaceutical drugs linked to suicide and other violent side effects. The report was the result of a joint investigation by ABC News and The Washington Times.

In one of the human experiments, involving the anti-smoking drug Chantix, Veterans Administration doctors waited more than three months before warning veterans about the possible serious side effects of Chantix, including suicide and neuropsychiatric behavior.

'Lab rat, guinea pig, disposable hero,' said former US Army sniper James Elliott in describing how he felt he was betrayed by the Veterans Administration. "

Just when you think George "Dubya" Bush couldn't possibly sink any lower, you read this. Your tax dollars are being used by your government to experiment on soldiers who came home from Iraq and Afghanistan with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, formerly known as Combat Fatigue, previously called Shell-Shock.

PTSD, or Delayed Stress Syndrome, causes night sweats, insomnia, bad dreams, flashbacks, paranoia, anxiety, constant fear, panic attacks, hallucinations, agoraphobia, depression, hostility, nervousness, inability to relate to friends, family and coworkers, inability to sustain careers, marriages, family relationships, homelessness, violent behavior and suicide. Like Agent Orange and Gulf War Syndrome before it, the VA under-recognizes and tries to avoid paying for PTSD, denying the validity of many cases. But you can see it on many street corners where homeless vets end up, abandoned by the government, the VA and the military that sent them into Hell again and again and again. You can hear them screaming.

World War I lasted four years, but the US was only involved for the last year or so. WWII lasted almost four years for the United States. Vietnam dragged on for nine years, but most soldiers and Marines were only "in-country" for one tour, usually twelve months, unless they re-enlisted or volunteered for more. We had a universal draft for all three of those wars. There is no draft now. Every man and woman over there now is a volunteer. But they didn't volunteer for this.

Thanks to new military enlistment contracts and the so-called "Stop-Loss" program today, troops are now contractually obligated for seven or more years of active duty. Most Marines and soldiers in the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been back there in combat at least twice, some as many as seven times, usually for ten months or more each time. There is no real R&R (rest and recuperation time) in the Middle East: Alcohol and friendly local "company" are not readily available in town in the Mid-East, but terror attacks are plentiful. Imagine escaping alive from Hell, and knowing you would have to go back to Hell several times, perhaps. And there is no end in sight, no "light at the end of the tunnel" if John McCain is elected: Not for a hundred years.

Every deployment means new danger, and more exposure to horror-movie conditions which continue to haunt even those who survive physically intact, for the rest of their lives. Stimulants like amphetamines, and depressants like barbiturates are given to many troops, to keep them awake for days at a time, and then knock them out afterwards. The effects can be devastating. Many of these men and women (yes, women are driving trucks and flying helicopters in combat zones) are teenagers, or in their early twenties. Just kids, really, fresh from some safe suburb or small town, with no experience of anything. Many of the Guard and Reserve troops are in their thirties, forties and fifties, with kids of their own back home to worry about. They go from their quiet lives in cities and towns all over America to the worst Hell-holes on Earth. They serve their country bravely there year in and year out. But when they come home, George W. Bush and John S. McCain are there at the airport to spit in their faces, figuratively. They don't care enough to spit literally, at least not in person. They do their spitting behind our veterans' backs.

If this bothers you, please write your representatives in the House and Senate, and let them know how you feel about this being done in your name. Tell them you want our boys and girls, our men and women brought home right now. Warn them that if our veterans are not honored and cared for, respected and treated with the best possible medical and psychological care, you will vote your representatives out of office this November. That's all we can do. Please do it. Congressional email information is listed here:



Follow-up post on this subject:

[Cross-posted at blog me no blogs]