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In This Issue March 2, 2012 Latest News

MEDIA ALERT: THIS WEEKEND ON CNN

Vietnam Veterans of America is a plaintiff in a lawsuit investigating any long-term harm done to service members who "volunteered" for testing of chemical and biological agents at Edgewood Arsenal, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and other sites from the 1940s through the 1970s. Testing was done at several other locations, including Fort Detrick, also in Maryland; Dugway Proving Ground, Utah; Fort Benning, Georgia; Fort Ord, California; and San Jose Island.

This weekend, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta for more from his investigative report on U.S. soldiers used as drug test subjects. Watch "CNN Presents," this Sunday night
at 8 and 11 ET/PT.

Special Notice: If you are a veteran in emotional crisis and need help RIGHT NOW, call this toll-free number 1-800-273-8255, available 24/7, and tell them you are a veteran. All calls are confidential.

VA Caregiver Hotline

CNN Presents

Vets feel abandoned after secret drug experiments

(CNN) -- The moment 18-year-old Army Pvt. Tim Josephs arrived at Edgewood Arsenal in 1968, he knew there was something different about the place.

"It just did not look like a military base, more like a hospital," recalled Josephs, a Pittsburgh native. Josephs had volunteered for a two-month assignment at Edgewood, in Maryland, lured by three-day weekends closer to home.

"It was like a plum assignment," Josephs said. "The idea was they would test new Army field jackets, clothing, weapons and things of that nature, but no mention of drugs or chemicals."

But when he went to fill out paperwork the morning after his arrival, the base personnel were wearing white lab coats, and Josephs said he had second thoughts. An officer took him aside.

"He said, 'You volunteered for this. You're going to do it. If you don't, you're going to jail. You're going to Vietnam either way -- before or after,'" Josephs said recently.

From 1955 to 1975, military researchers at Edgewood were using not only animals but human subjects to test a witches' brew of drugs and chemicals. They ranged from potentially lethal nerve gases like VX and sarin to incapacitating agents like BZ.

Read the secret (now unclassified) Army document revealing BZ tests on soldiers (PDF)
The military also tested tear gas, barbiturates, tranquilizers, narcotics and hallucinogens like LSD.

In 1968, Tim Josephs was told he would be testing gas masks, boots and other clothing, he said.

Read the confidential (now unclassified) Army document uncovering LSD tests on volunteers (PDF)

[ read more ]

Watch "CNN Presents," this Sunday night at 8 and 11 ET/PT

 

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