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Operation Desert Storm and its unseen aftermath have forever changed the life of our family. First there was the euphoria of victory in this 100 hour war with very few casualties and the safe return of our step-daughter who was involved in the deep insertions into Iraq with Airborne and Special Forces units. But slowly the euphoria turned to nagging questions as to whether our victory was as complete as advertised, especially when our veterans started to come down with Gulf War Illness which eventually felled everyone in our family. And we were not alone.
There are now approximately 100,000 Americans sick with Gulf War Illness, and the number of estimated deaths from all causes has risen to 12,000-15,000, up from the approximately 7,000 first reported in our earlier articles in Criminal Politics. The illness is spreading in the population, because it is an airborne pathogen. For the first time we are now detecting the illness in the general population in the U.S., but in the Middle East Gulf War Illness is already a major public health problem. This is a problem that will not go away, and we will have to face it head on and stop denying and dismissing its dangers.
We Americans love a challenge, and we feel that we rose to the occasion. We were able to gather blood samples and clinical information on Gulf War Illness, describe it as a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-like condition, identify one of the potential causes, an unusual invasive microorganism that is probably an airborne Biological Weapon released during the Gulf War, suggest successful treatments for this illness and publish our results in 9 articles, reports and letters in peer-reviewed medical journals.
Our biggest mistake was that we naively thought that our government would be supportive and grateful for our assistance. What happened instead has been a virtual nightmare. We were attacked viciously by high level military physicians, ostracized by certain colleagues who spread rumors questioning our sanity, forced out of our academic institution by a concerted effort that involved nonstop administrative harassment, mail and courier theft, wiretaps, credit card fraud, breaking of a tenure contract, computer and documents theft, attempts to block our scientific and medical presentations, sabotage our clinical samples and undermine our employees.
When encountering what is perceived as an insurmountable obstacle, our parents and grandparents always told us "and this too shall pass." Actually, we are glad that some of our family never lived to see the utter deterioration of everything that they and we believed in as Americans, including the honor of a system that was formed to foster an elusive American dream of justice and nobility in our laws. They did not live to see that the United States is on a collision course reminiscent of the collapse of the Roman Empire of 2,000 years ago, an empire that Christ knew all to well. After all, wasn't the U.S. government designed to follow precepts set up by the ancient Romans and Greeks?
Unfortunately, ancient Greco-Roman culture and society was also very barbaric, and it is this implacable remnant of Greco-Roman darkness that has infiltrated the very fabric of our government, which unlike its ancient counterpart was supposed to encompass the spirituality and reverence for God that was missing in ancient Rome. It is impossible not to notice that we are in the "end times" that can only be likened to the sorrow that Christ experienced almost two thousand years ago as the governmental and religious systems of the times failed to protect the individual and were exposed for what they were.
Everyday we ask ourselves what did we do that was perceived as so wrong that an entire government, or at least a very strong and controlling faction in our government and military, should mount a continual harassment campaign against our family? In truth, all we wanted to do was help our soldiers, and now their family members and many of our citizens, to overcome a horrific chronic illness that is diagnosable and treatable. We never intended to uncover a massive, illegal Biological Weapons development and testing program, nor was it our intent to embarrass the Defense establishment or certain sectors of the scientific community. Because of our naive faith in our government, we ultimately set ourselves up for a quest that involved betrayals from people with whom we have worked for over two decades and whose very careers and livelihoods were helped significantly by our unswerving loyalty.
Not one single government on this planet involved in the Persian Gulf War will accept accountability for the release of Chemical and Biological Weapons during and after the conflict. In fact, they appear to be doing just the opposite, discounting the effects of exposures and downplaying the numbers of soldiers and civilians who were exposed. They have remained steadfast in their denial that Biological Weapons were released in Desert Storm, even though there were no detection systems for these weapons.
How else can we explain the apparent contagious nature of the illness in many veterans and their family members and the appearance of unusual, modified microorganisms in their blood? We suspect that there may be a deeply hidden agenda and that one of the original designs of Biological Weapons may be an ill-advised use in the control of world population. We also suspect that the special financial interests of global armaments dealers and pharmaceutical companies comes into play in selling these uncontrollable weapons to third world countries.
The second week of August of this year began with one of us (G.L.N.) receiving a memo stating that if we did not remove all our research equipment and materials, including precious cancer cell lines and thousands of samples of blood from Desert Storm and Vietnam veterans and civilians suffering from chronic fatigue illnesses, by the end of August, everything was going to be confiscated. The 16 years as a senior tenured faculty member and department chairman with over 400 scientific and medical publications and tens of millions of dollars in grant awards to the institution (G.L.N.) counted for nothing, and we had no choice but to remove everything from the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center at Houston.
This was no simple task, because the samples require special storage at -70°C, and the move cost us over $100,000 from our own personal funds. We were fortunate in that the Teamsters, many of whom are veterans, provided armed protection of the samples which we felt were at risk during the transfer to California. The man who let us have the expensive freezers for the move without cash up front faces the constant threat of dismissal from his company in Missouri City, Texas, because of his willingness to help us save these samples.
What grieves us most is that we do not know if we can keep our word to the soldiers of processing their blood, as we are fighting just to keep our nascent institute going. At one point earlier this year our chief technician had a serious heart attack, and his assistant quit without notice because the stress of working on the Gulf War Illness was too extreme, forcing us to have to train new personnel while we are establishing our new laboratories from scratch. Even more disheartening is that the letters we sent out to individuals that we were able to test for mycoplasmal infections were intercepted, resulting in angry, frustrated veterans.
They are chronically ill and do not understand that a great deal is involved in the testing procedures, and at present we have only a small operation that is struggling to survive under constant harassment. We have been literally deluged with requests from around the world, and it breaks our hearts that we cannot help everyone because, we suspect, of directives of an unseen power that wishes to obliterate our scientific program. In addition, the IRS continues to block our grant from the International Monetary Fund that was approved by all the countries involved.
You might wonder why we have not gotten legal help with these problems. The answer is quite simple. Initially, the lawyers we encountered in Harris County, Texas were enthusiastic about our problems, but then each and every one of them withdrew from assisting us. In some cases they even admitted to us that we had powerful enemies that they were not prepared to fight. Although our days are colored by a continued demoralization campaign, we have vowed to give it our all.
Although it saddened us that we had to leave Houston on such a bitter note, we have made many wonderful friends there who know that the true Texans who embrace the pioneer spirit that built this country would not approve of the attacks we have endured. In fact, since coming to California we have done telephone radio broadcasts from stations in other Texas cities, such as San Antonio, Dallas and Austin, that are appalled and horrified at the treatment we have received from a famous Texas institution. But not all Texas institutions seem to be involved, because one of us (G.L.N.) will retain his professorship appointments at Texas A & M University as well as the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, and both of us will continue our collaborations with faculty at these institutions.
Although our experience has been primarily negative since we came forward with our results on the chronic infections in Gulf War Illness patients, we strongly believe that truth is our best weapon. We also believe that where there is greatness, error is often great, and it is this dictate that summarizes our feelings for the Texas Medical Center.
Our failure to thrive at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is in direct contrast to our success in publishing our results and receiving invitations to present in symposia at international medical and scientific meetings, such as the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, International Society for Molecular Medicine and the International Congress of the Metastasis Research Society. These positive trends have stimulated a growing awareness and awakening of prominent clinicians and scientists worldwide to the dangers of Biological Warfare and to the existence of a criminal element in the heart of the medical and scientific communities who have pursued illegal and immoral goals for personal gain.
It is clear to us that we are locked in a moral and spiritual battle. The dark forces behind this struggle are not going to retreat easily, and the only way to bring these forces down is to focus on the light. We believe that society can win this battle, but we cannot fight this battle alone, as we have only limited resources. We humbly ask each of you to reach deep into your hearts and join us in this battle which will be fought in the laboratory and clinic as well as in the halls of Congress and the Pentagon. We cannot win without your help, and we cannot lose with your help. Remember, if we lose this fight, "The bell tolls for thee."
Tax-deductible donations can be made to Gulf War Illness Project at the Institute for Molecular Medicine by sending a check or money order in care of the Rhodon Foundation for Biomedical Research, the parent tax-exmpt foundation for the Institute for Molecular Medicine at P.O. Box 52470, Irvine, CA 92619-2470. Thank you for your donation.
About the Authors
Professor Garth Nicolson is the Scientific Director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine in Irvine, California. He was formally the David Bruton Jr. Chair in Cancer Research and Professor at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and he remains Professor of Internal Medicine and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Among the most cited scientists in the world, having published over 400 medical and scientific papers, edited 13 books, served on the Editorial Boards of 12 medical and scientific journals and currently serving as Editor of two journals. Professor Nicolson has active peer-reviewed research grants from the U.S. Army, National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society and National Foundation for Cancer Research.
Dr. Nancy Nicolson is trained in molecular biophysics and is the President of the Rhodon Foundation for Biomedical Research and Chief Execetive Officer of the Institute for Molecular Medicine in Irvine, California. She has published over 25 medical and scientific papers, has delivered over 60 international and national scientific presentations and was the Who's Who in the World 1996 Woman of the Year.