Free Thought Project – by Justin Gardner
The legacy of death and misery from the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan continues today, and, once again, Dick Cheney plays a central role. A new book by Joseph Hickman, a former U.S. Marine and Army sergeant, titled “The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America’s Soldiers” details how soldiers and local civilian populations were exposed to constant streams of toxic smoke from the burning of waste.
The infamous Kellog, Brown, and Root (KBR), which was a part of Dick Cheney’s corporate empire under Halliburton, operated about 250 burn pits which contributed to the $40 billion that Halliburton made during the Iraq occupation. “Every type of waste imaginable” was burned, including “tires, lithium batteries, asbestos insulation, pesticide containers, Styrofoam, metals, paints, plastic, medical waste and even human corpses.”
This reprehensible practice proves yet again that nothing is sacred when it comes to the military machine.
Just as the U.S. laid waste to Vietnam’s human health and jungle environment with Agent Orange, it wrecked human health and environmental quality in Iraq. That country will suffer from this toxicity for decades, as evidenced by sharp increases in birth defects and cancer and leukemia rates.
Likewise, U.S. veterans and their families are bearing the brunt of this travesty.
“The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America’s Soldiers” begins with the story of a healthy young soldier sent to Iraq who was constantly exposed to smoke from burn pits. When he returned home with respiratory problems, the Veterans Administration (VA) denied him care, and he later developed brain cancer and died.
Those who do survive are having children with birth defects at a rate three times higher than normal, according to the book. The denial of medical coverage by the VA for burn pit-related illnesses is a central strategy in denying that burn pits even posed a health hazard.
Beau Biden, the son of vice president Joe Biden, died of brain cancer after serving in Iraq in the vicinity of burn pits. Even this tragedy, which is similar to many stories of exposure and death, never brought attention to the issue of burn pits.
Salon interviewed author Joseph Hickman, who provided even more shocking details, and how the Department of Defense (DoD) does all it can to keep this knowledge from the public.
“I think the Department of Defense does its best to squash this story and so does Veterans Affairs. They really don’t want this out at all.”
Hickson interviewed one former KBR employee who was very reluctant to even talk about burn pits for fear of repercussions, as he was harassed by KBR when he previously came forward about the issue. By using private contractors for such operations, the DoD facilitates these egregious assaults on human and environmental health because contractors are not held to the standards of the military.
This dependency on contractors feeds their tendency for carelessness. According to Hickson, the upper management said at one point, “If they’re going to investigate us over these burn pits, don’t worry about it. If we pull out, they can’t run this base.”
The U.S. government, in its effort to conceal the impact of burn pits, even managed to influence a World Health Organization report that downplayed the effects. It stands in stark contrast to several independent researchers who found large increases in birth defects, leukemia, cancer and other carcinogenic diseased in populations living near burn pits.
“There’s a large group of epidemiologists that absolutely believe that that report was influenced by the U.S. government. Dr. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, a widely respected environmental toxicologist, has been there and seen the birth defects and how we literally destroyed that country with pollution. There are birth defects there that don’t even have medical names yet.”
The evidence compiled by Hickson and presented in his book makes it downright criminal for the DoD and politicians to continue denying the issue. When veterans suffering from burn-pit illnesses contact their Congressmen, there is silence because they are in bed with the defense industry.
General David Petraeus and other top DoD officials have denied the health effects of burn pits, but veterans have no recourse because they can’t sue the government. There is a lawsuit against KBR, but the DoD will not acknowledge that the burn pits were misused.
While politicians and military brass issue patriotic platitudes about honoring those who serve their country, the reality is that soldiers are just a name and a number, and they’re thrown away when the military machine is done with them. Defense corporations reap billions as veterans and local populations suffer sickness and death.
Please share this article in the hope that exposure can force accountability for the toxic legacy of burn pits.
18 thoughts on “Dick Cheney Poisoned Hundreds of US Troops in Iraq — They’re Dying — And the Media is Silent”
Dick Cheney, a stool floating in a 2 week old porta potty. Why bother, the old fart said fck you in chambers, while shitting on our flag. Dick Cheney is the floating turd in the Caddy Shack hall of shame. A true piece of tripe, floating in a porta while looking for an outta.
February 19, 2016
Gulf War Syndrome: U.S. Veterans Suffering From Multiple Debilitating Symptoms:
“After there service in the Gulf War conflict from 1990-1991, hundreds of thousands of our country’s Veterans began suffering from multiple and diverse debilitating symptoms including neurological and respiratory disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, psychological problems, skin conditions and gastrointestinal issues. …”.
American Gulf War Veterans Association:
Rest in Peace, Anthony Patrick Elkerton. 1971-1996
May you be in peace as well Martist, with love for you, mary
Thank you, mary. 🙂 Very kind of you. He ended his existence on his own, but they had already taken his life.
“This dependency on contractors feeds their tendency for carelessness. According to Hickson, the upper management said at one point, “If they’re going to investigate us over these burn pits, don’t worry about it. If we pull out, they can’t run this base.””
Dependence is what is killing this nation. I remember a document called “The Declaration of INDEPENDENCE” not “Dependence”.
GROW SOME BALLS and hang the sons of bitches! 😡
Meanwhile, we’re Americans. We can do anything we put our minds to. Screw the private contractors!
If you dig a little deeper as well you will find that most of, if not all, of these private contractors are ex military or the friend of a friend or someone’s cousin Ronnie. The corruption knows no bounds. They bring in these private contractors in the promise of “saving money”, but in reality they are money sucking demons. I like your comment NC.
Never trust a person with the name DICK.
Man… that mthrfkr ain’t dead yet.
Please God kill him.
I owe you one.
During a war they can get away with anything by claiming military necessity. (“we had to burn it to prevent it from falling into enemy hands”…. or some such nonsense)
KBR is going to fill the requirements of their military contracts as inexpensively as possible, regardless of who dies.
We know that Dick Cheney buys snuff movies involving the torture and death of young boys, so killing 18 year-old soldiers is something he may have thoroughly enjoyed, too.
All these guilty politicians continue to roam free.
Everyone knows who’s guilty and all we can do is write about it.
Lynch mobs may be the only answer.
Shades of Vietnam. Kissinger himself stated U.S. soldiers were expendable pawns.
The Kissinger quote is:
“Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”
My father briefed him once in ~ 1973. He was proud of it. i believe he was presenting the damage done to our strategic nuclear deterrence due to the loss of B-52s in conventional bombing of North Vietnam.
He didn’t think HK gave a shit.
The quote confirms his assessment.
A psychopathic war criminal no matter how you look at it.
“… a World Health Organization report that downplayed the effects. It stands in stark contrast to several independent researchers who found large increases in birth defects, leukemia, cancer and other carcinogenic diseased in populations living near burn pits.”
How much of that can be laid at depleted uranium’s doorstep?
I suspect a large part of the syndrome symptoms are due to exposure to depleted uranium dust.
It’s an alpha emitter and when the dust is inhaled it is incredibly damaging to the DNA. Thus the high number of birth defects in the children of those exposed.
Plus, nobody really knows what was burned.
I’ve read very credible reports that USA manufactured chemical weapons were knowingly burned to prevent their discovery by the opposition press.
Just watched ‘Cradle to the Grave’ again last night. In it, DMX breaks into an office safe with… guess what?
A depleted uranium round. Said so right on the ammo box he took it out of.
It’s funny how this article came out the other day and just today at work at the theater, I ran into a customer who was with her brother who was an ex-military veteran from the Gulf War in the 80’s. She said he had a tumor in his brain and only has less than a year to live, so she is taking him to see a movie every week because that is what he loves to do. She went on to tell me that he got the cancer from when he was fighting over in Iraq in the 80’s with a group of people testing experimental weapons and basically the chemicals slow poisoned them. So after doing chemotherapy and trying to fight it for years, he has supposedly reached the point of no return. So sad.
If I could push Dick Cheney off the edge of the Grand Canyon in his wheelchair I fkng would.
That ratt bassturd.
I’d have to set him on fire first.
Put some fireworks on him too!
Probably on the 4rth of July.
We could have a picnic and a bbq.
I want a stick of dynamite where the sun don’t shine to ensure his testicles are obliterated. Then we microwave what “gravy” is left to make sure the meat is dead. Then we douse it with gas, throw some charcoal in the mix for prolonged burning, then drop a 100 megaton nuke on it when it’s delivered to Tel Aviv.