Peace and War:

  • KFOR/MSNBC: Man warns against ‘blind trust’ of government
      OKLAHOMA CITY – One concerned veteran says his story is reason enough to be skeptical of what the government is telling us these days.

      Robert Thompson fought two campaigns in Vietnam. He was an engineer for the navy. He says the U.S. government tested chemical and biological weapons on him for months without his knowledge. And, he refuses to trust the government won’t do it again. “At 20 years old you’re carefree,” he said. “Nothing will happen to you.”

      Petty officer 2ndclass Robert Thompson was just 18 when he enlisted.

      By 20 he was on his second campaign. He sailed the Thomas into Asia.

      Until last year Thompson had no idea he and his shipmates were government guinea pigs.

      “They waited so long to tell us, it’s just so disappointing to me,” he said. “What they did, not just to me….”

      Just a few months ago, Veterans Affairs sent Thompson a letter. After 36 years, the government confessed the navy was involved in chemical and biological tests during Thompson’s tour. Tests, the letter said, which included exposing American service men to botulism, Sarin gas, anthrax and more.

      “I don’t know why they couldn’t come forward earlier to locate people,” Thompson said. “Certainly when they found people were dying at three times the rate of the general public.”

      Now, an Oklahoma community is trying to understand why Uncle Sam wants to use its back yard. Experts say it’s totally safe.

      “We will not intentionally cause harm to people,” said Mark Thompson of the Environmental Protection Agency.

      Thompson’s doctors give him a year before his lungs shut down. Hope for his recovery is gone. But, he says, he will fight to warn against blind trust.

      “It broke my heart to hear people saying ‘I know the government wouldn’t harm us,’ I can’t believe that anymore,” he said.

      Representatives from the EPA and the army say comparing secret testing from the ’60s and the tests they want to do now is like comparing apples and oranges. Also, they say, they would never consider using harmful agents, like sarin or anthrax. Instead, for this test they insist they’re using harmless products like ground soil and egg whites.

      There’s still a chance the army will decide to postpone the tests. But, if it’s approved, the crop duster will begin its work in the Goldsby area a week from today.