The Government’s War on Soldiers

“Use ‘em, abuse ‘em and lose ‘em. This has been the U.S. military mantra since before George Washington slapped on a pair of boots. This brilliant work documents it all. A searing condemnation of an ungrateful nation.” –David H. Hackworth, Colonel, U.S. Army Retired. Author of STEEL MY SOLDIERS’ HEARTS

With the number of American casualties on the rise in Iraq and Afghanistan, American military families have cause to worry about their enlisted loved-ones more than ever. Yet as award-winning journalist Rick Anderson’s Home Front: The Government’s War on Soldiers makes clear, America’s soldiers have more to worry about than just the enemy: the true casualty measure of war is the body count––the medical failures, psychological toll and the uninvestigated suicides––that occurs on the home front.

American casualties in Gulf Wars I and II have been relatively light––so the public thinks. After all, only 148 soldiers were killed in the 1991 Gulf War. But 11,000 have died since. And that’s only the beginning of the destruction. As Joyce Riley, former Army flight nurse and veterans’ advocate puts it, “I don’t know why the government, if it cares so much about its troops, isn’t saying ‘My God, 200,000 disabled in that war, 11,000 dead! What did we do?’” New figures show that one third of the 696,000 Gulf I troops have sought war-related medical treatment. A similar pattern is emerging from the latest war in Iraq: For every service member killed in Iraq, 15 others have fallen ill; by October 2003, more than 4,500 had already been returned to the U.S. for medical treatment.

The Bush administration, like others before it, has made much of the need for the American public to support the troops that it sends to its wars––but for its own part, has not only curtailed their support, but recklessly furthered their endangerment. In the very midst of the latest war, while simultaneously lauding the troops, George W. Bush cut back support of both veterans and frontline troops. He has tried to mask the extent of American casualties by nonattendance at funerals and preventing public access to photographs depicting the reality of the escalating conflict in Iraq.

Inspired by the untold story of Sgt. Joe Hooper, Vietnam’s most decorated solider and a home-front causality, Home Front examines the widespread effects of the government’s weapons, medicines and bureaucracies of mass destruction: the use of vaccines that have led to mysterious deaths among both troops and civilians, and the likely emergence of Gulf War II Illness, a cocktail of ailments similar to Gulf War I Illness––the modern day version of Vietnam’s Agent Orange. It details the health and medical issues facing American military personnel and veterans, and investigates the military/bureaucratic politicking behind them. It includes comprehensive documentation from the CDC, VA, and Pentagon to explain the illnesses, syndromes and symptoms, and an insight into veterans’ battles over medical services, intractable policy, and VA hospital conditions. Public and classified military experiments are detailed along with the “friendly fire” effects of anthrax vaccine and depleted uranium. Also described are post-war suicides, alcoholism and military homicide incidents.

RICK ANDERSON is former columnist at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Seattle Times and staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle; he has also written for the Village Voice, Christian Science Monitor, Mother Jones and Salon. He won the Heywood Broun Award for human rights journalism. His story,”Crippled Home Front,” for Seattle Weekly where he now writes, is displayed at the Arlington National Cemetery website.

FRANCIS A. BOYLE (Foreword) is a well-known expert on international law.

Also see:
US Military: Only a Desperate Idiot Would Join


Foreword by Francis A. Boyle / 13

Author’s Note / 19

Introduction / 21
Joe Soldier: “No-value-added” casualties on the home front / 21
A military-industrial complexion / 24
Funeral Muzak / 27
Between Iraq and a hard place / 33

Chapter One
The Cocktail Effect: America’s New Agent Orange / 40
The Vietnam connection / 40
A chemical and biological hangover / 42
The head cases / 43
Military-related illness: A history of misdiagnoses / 46
Gulf War II illness / 49
The smallpox vaccine: opening Pandora’s Box? / 52
No mystery deaths? / 55
Saddam’s WMD: Made in the USA / 57
Toxic black rain / 60
Portable WMD / 61
Fear of the unproved / 64

Chapter Two
Death by Friendly Fire: The Anthrax Vaccine / 67
Shooting Sandra / 67
130 percent disabled / 69
Get shot, that’s an order / 72
BioPort in a storm / 74
Unlicensed, experimental, and good to go / 76
AVA innocent until proved guilty / 80
No shortage of AVA horror stories / 84
Anthrax vaccination for every American? / 89

Chapter Three
Depleted Uranium/Depleted Forces / 93
Making Geiger counters sing / 93
A rash of censorship / 97
DU on the home front / 99
The graveyard factor / 101

Chapter Four
The Rat Brigade: Medical Testing on Soldiers / 105
‘What did they give me?’ / 105
CIA Project OFTEN / 107
MKULTRA mind control experiments / 108
A brief history of human experimentation in America / 109
Senate Report: Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans’ Health? / 112
Missing records / 116
The Khamisiyah exposures / 118
Hypocrisy at war / 122
Biowar endangerment of American civilians / 124

Chapter Five
Squalene: A Pattern of Deception and Denial / 127
Stonewalling the evidence / 127
Purely scientific lies / 129
A moral victory / 130

Chapter Six
Better Soldiers Through Chemistry / 131
Murder, suicide, rape and—doping? / 131
Why Lariam? / 132
Doping up for America / 133
Psycho Tuesday, and a fear of Nazis / 136
Domestic Violence, the other bitter pill / 139
Rape, another military ‘drug’ / 142

Chapter Seven
The Fortunes of War Production / 145
User-deadly weapons / 145
The Harrier attack jet: a “widow maker” / 145
The Boeing Chinook’s non-conforming gears / 147
Forgive and forget / 150
The business of war is… / 155

Chapter Eight
The Unkindest Cuts: Government Giveth
and Taketh Away / 160
Yesterday’s promises / 160
Rescuing Sergeant Turner / 166

Be kind enough to die / 169
‘Heal me’ / 173
Broken promises then and now / 174

Chapter Nine
The Other Cocktail Effect / 176
William Allen’s bar brawl / 176
A legislative dental extraction / 178
The heroes’ war at home / 180

Epilogue / 185
Lest we forget / 185

Endnotes / 187

Selected Bibliography / 195

Index / 197

ISBN: 0-932863-41-8 * $14.95 * 200 pp.
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Contact SCB Distributors 1-800-729-6423, Tel. 310-532-9400, Fax 310-532-7001 or

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Examination copies available from Clarity Press, Inc.