Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Webb, Burr, Akaka & Simpson Discredited

Akaka has an excuse -- his age.

Burr? This is the first we have heard from him, indeed the first we have heard from any Republican in two years, and the first thing he does is blindly, and foolishly agree with a Democratic Senator, Jim Webb.

Webb has no excuse. Webb is just guileless and almost criminally incompetent, a surprise for someone who survived the Vietnam War, AND the Naval Academy. Perhaps it is the arrogance that all too often accompanies graduation from that august institution, but Webb has made these kinds of errors before [like opposing women in the fleet], but never a series as deadly as the ones over Agent Orange.

This unlikely "Gang of Three" has banded together to make themselves look incredibly bad, and in the process are singularly responsible for the early deaths in poverty of hundreds of Vietnam Veterans.

They have raised a number of issues. First, when the 2008 Institute of Medicine report on Veterans and Agent Orange was released in July, 2009, among the things they recommended were the addition of ischemic heart disease, hairy cell leukemia, and Parkinson's disease to the list of Agent Orange related diseases. They also studied, peer reviewed and validated the "Australian Study' that led to the Australian and New Zealand governments granting presumptive exposure to herbicides to their Blue Water Sailors, finally agreeing it was good science, and recommending the restoration of US Blue Water Navy Veterans to presumptive exposure eligibility for benefits.

Webb and Akaka fought these, and instituted a little known Congressional rule allowing them to study the appropriations for 90 days after passage of legislation that added the three new diseases. They knew they could not stop the addition. Yet they maliciously went ahead with this obscure gambit. Hundreds of Veterans died an early death in poverty because of what they did. Webb and Akaka are "Vet Killers" of the first order.

The DVA chose not to add the Blue Water Navy Veterans, largely because Webb and Akaka insisted that the Institute of Medicine review their own work and indeed, compare Blue Water Navy methods of exposure to that of land based exposure. Thus the Blue Water Navy, which should have been restored by the Secretary at the same time the three new diseases were added, now continues to die at a rate of hundreds per day, in poverty, and without the knowledge that their widows and survivors will be cared for. "Vet killers!"

Webb and Akaka called a hearing of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, in which Burr joined them in grilling Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki about his decision to add the three new diseases.

Take some time to read the Agent Orange Act of 1991, the original one.
Here is a link:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/radiation/dir/mstreet/commeet/meet3/brief3.gfr/tab_g/br3g1f.txt

Then you will understand what a travesty the hearing was. Shinseki stood up to them and cited this law, and correctly so.

This Bozo "Gang of Three" apparently does not know the law.

Bravo to Secretary Shinseki for standing up to these "Vet Killers!"

Webb insists that Agent Orange exposure only occurred if you were in combat, as that is where the spraying went, he reasons. "Vet Killer!"

Now comes feckless retired Republican Senator Alan Simpson, from Wyoming. He is currently co-chairing President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. From that base, he made the charge that the American Public is paying too much money for Veterans who got diabetes as a result of Agent Orange exposure.

Alright, we've told you what the Bozos and the "Gang of Three" [who are also Bozos] have done, now let us finish showing you just how out of whack these guys are.

Last week we attended an open meeting at the Institute of Medicine. The Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange Exposure held a public meeting on Monday, September 20, 2010, at the Keck Center of the National Academies, Washington, DC. The invited speaker at this session was Dr. Jeanne Stellman, Columbia University. She discussed her "Exposure Opportunity Model." Dr. Stellman's presentation was extremely impressive in its scope, the depth of research and body of data gathered. Dr. Stellman exhibited an impressive knowledge of the history of the Vietnam War as it pertained to US involvement, on the ground inside Vietnam. [See previous post.]

Dr. Stellman's study clearly and completely refutes Webb's baseless claim that only combat troops were exposed.

Another study, this one by the University of Buffalo, in New York, was reported in an online edition of Endocrine Today titled "Graves’ disease, Agent Orange exposure linked in veterans".

"To assess the prevalence of major thyroid diagnoses, the researchers reviewed the Veterans Administration electronic medical database for upstate New York veterans born between 1925 and 1950, which is the age group that would have been eligible for military service during the Vietnam War era. Their search revealed 19,709 veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange exposure and 50,913 veterans who were not exposed. They compared the groups for possible differences in race, smoking history and type 2 diabetes."

Overall, Agent Orange exposure was the most important predictor of Graves’ disease (OR=2.76; 95% CI, 2.22-3.81), independent of race/ethnicity, smoking status and diabetes....

...In addition, diabetes was two times as common in Agent Orange-exposed veterans..."

For more information:
Varanasi A. OC-036. Presented at: the 14th International Thyroid Congress; Sept. 11-16, 2010; Paris.

http://www.endocrinetoday.com/view.aspx?rid=68470
Access Date 09/19/2010

We will repeat that because obliviously, Simpson and the "Gang of Three" are a bit slow on the uptake:

In addition, diabetes was two times as common in Agent Orange-exposed veterans."

70,000+ Veterans is a very large cohort to study. The Mathematics of statistics says that the greater the sample [cohort size], the more accurate the results.

The report was presented at the 14th International Thyroid Congress in Paris, France, on Septermber 11-16, 2010.

We now call on these Bozo politicians to stop their preening and posturing and stop interfering with laws already enacted.

Let Shinseki run the DVA. But let him also approve benefits for the Blue Water Navy Veterans and those from Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, or TLC Veterans, [which includes the Blue Sky Air Force]. The two scientific studies noted above are certainly light-years beyond the alchemy done by the DVA. In fact, we have yet to see one single piece of clear scientific evidence that those groups were NOT exposed.

Delay is criminal. The evidence is clear and unequivocal. Those Blue Water Navy Veterans and those of TLC were exposed, every bit as much as those with "boots on the ground" in Vietnam.

Go ahead and do studies, waste the taxpayers' money on studies trying to disprove it. The facts are in. The science is in. Exposure was a reality among those Veterans.

"Vet Killers!" Akaka, Webb, Burr, Simpson! "Vet Killers!"

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2010: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Sixth Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved. Reprinting or copying of the contents of this blog without the express permission of the author is unlawful.

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous22:10

    I can feel the frustration and anger in you. Keep up the good deed you are doing for the Blue Water Navy. I admire you're dedication to the cause.

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  2. Anonymous08:34

    Shinseki is the real "Vet Killer". He leaves a trail of broken promises, such as reducing the claims backlog
    (the backlog of claims increased during his tenure), and reducing homelessness. He has the gall to claim victory on homeless reduction when the opposite occurs. He merely manipulated the numbers to make himself look good. He can now blame congress for AO presumptives, which was his plan all along.

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  3. Anonymous13:07

    A very powerful and aggressive way to tell those imbeciles how ignorant they really are.
    It disgusts me to see how even a Nam vet can be turned into a Political clown when he gets let into that group known as politicians!!
    Shame on those that make and let us SUFFER!!!!

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  4. Anonymous17:16

    I would understand it if these people had the guts to just stand up and say 'We don't think that the country can afford to pay these people', I wouldn't like it but would, at least, appreaciate the honesty.
    Jim Webb should be ashamed, he is a disabled veteran himself, holder of the Navy Cross....he seems to suffer from the "I got mine; too bad about all the 'little people' who are trying to get theirs" syndrome. He hasn't had any problem voting for things like the Health Care Bill....glad he wants to save the country $$$.

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  5. Anonymous18:16

    The only thing I can say about the GANG OF THREE is HELL IS ONLY HALF FULL

    ReplyDelete