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For the Record

In the past several years the American Gulf War Veterans Association (AGWVA) has come under attack by mainstream media, certain Veteran groups, "patriot" groups and other organizations that for one reason or another, find it necessary to attempt to discredit the information we provide, or otherwise slander and ridicule us on a personal level. The age old policy of "attacking the messenger rather than acknowledging the message" becomes apparent when one looks at the documentation and evidence provided by this website and the source of the attack. For the record...

  1. A website by the name of "Vitalsource" which promotes itself as a "starting point" for journalists to begin their research, had this to say about the AGWVA, "...mind you, they also insist that the that the motive behind operation "Desert Storm" was to retrieve alien artifacts buried in the Iraqi desert." This statement is obviously a complete fabrication. Neither Joyce Riley vonKleist or Dave vonKleist have ever made any statement that even remotely infers or suggests such a concept. When we contacted Howard Fienburg of STATS Inc. (the parent website) and questioned the source of this information, his assistant could not or would not provide it. They further stated, "According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the vonKleists are members of the Patriot militia." In this case, the source is provided but again, the statement is not true. Neither Joyce or Dave are part of a "patriot militia" nor have we ever been. The simple fact that these statements were published on a website that claims to be a source for newspersons indicates clearly that the agenda is to promote propaganda rather than honest journalism. (By the way, when we printed out the page from the vitalsource website, the "print" window said, "...contacting CNN.com".) To date, Vitalsource has refused to print a retraction or an apology. This one example brings into question the credibility of not just Vitalsource, but also the Southern Poverty Law Center as well as CNN.
  2. The winter ‘97 issue of "The Intelligence Report" published by the Southern Poverty Law Center focused on domestic terrorism and inferred that Joyce Riley is a domestic terrorist because she has brought into question the actions taken by the US government in regard to the Gulf War Illness issue and the proliferation, development, experiments, disbursement and use of deadly biological weapons. We submit that the only people being terrorized by the release of this information are the ones that are perpetrating these horrendous acts of genocide on not just the military, but the general population as well. The attempt to label her as a domestic terrorist is once again, a clear case of "attacking the messenger". The Southern Poverty Law Center has close ties to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which raises the questions; Why does the ADL spend so much time defaming innocent individuals, and what does an organization whose title infers legal advocacy for financially disadvantaged people of the southern states have to do with domestic terrorism? Who are these people and what is their agenda? We have not heard of one Gulf War Veteran who has been assisted by the Southern Poverty Law Center or the ADL.
  3. Joyce has been accused of being anti-semetic. This statement is absolutely unfounded and untrue. Ask the folks at the Houston Jewish Community Center where she was acknowledged and honored as a leader in Gulf War Veterans issues.
  4. Joyce has been accused of being a racist. The fact is that the illnesses being suffered by Gulf War Veterans do not discriminate as to race, creed or color. Neither does Joyce.
  5. Another ridiculous and untrue fabrication is that Joyce has been accused of being a government agent and that she gathers names of GW vets to sell to the Pentagon for $1,000 each. If anybody believes that the Pentagon can’t find their own veterans and is willing to pay that kind of money to locate them, they’ll probably believe anything.
  6. Because Joyce was invited to speak at the Panida Theater at Sandpoint, Idaho in December,1997, and accepted, she was attacked by Bill Wassamuth of the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment. His malicious and harassing news release was covered in a local newspaper and the negative publicity prevented Jewish people and people of color from attending the program, thereby preventing them from obtaining possible life-saving information. His assessment of some of those helping to promote the program was that they were a racist, anti-semetic hate group. Tom Grant, a reporter for the CBS affiliate station in nearby Spokane,WA, attended the meeting that night and reported that nothing could have been further from the truth. If actions speak louder that words, the actions taken by Mr. Wassamuth demonstrate clearly that it is he that is openly promoting hate and is at best a hypocrite. We should point out that we do not do "background checks" on any group that invites Joyce to speak. If we were to decide where we were and were not to speak based upon a religious belief, we would be discriminating wouldn’t we?
  7. Joyce has been accused of being a member of the Israeli Massad. This ridiculous charge has provided us with numerous laughs. In fact, the "America’s Bulletin" magazine published a story that stated that she had written a book on the subject entitled "Nurse Riley Speaks!" where she discussed this and many other fabrications. When telephoned and told that she had not written that or any other book, the response was "Prove it!"
  8. For some time, relentless faxes and e-mails containing the most vial and profane language, insinuations and viscous attacks on her personal character have been posted on fax trees and on the internet. For four years now we have endured these slanderous and disgusting statements. We have not, nor will we engage in this type of exchange and will stay on the high road. It is truly a shame that some people are taken in by this kind of diatribe and have never demanded evidence to prove the assertions being made. Fear is a powerful tool and was/is used to manipulate and control. "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth"- 1 John 3:18
  9. The John Birch Society (JBS) is made up of some of the most honest, patriotic, God fearing people in this country that will stand for freedom and the Constitution and we support their efforts. It is surprising however, to find that John McManus, president of the JBS does not support the efforts of the AGWVA to expose the cover-up of the Gulf war Illness. In fact, in a letter to Joyce he stated that there is no cover-up and that her work and lectures were the result of "...sloppy research, conflicting claims, and unfounded charges." He further states, "You do not support the cause of Gulf War Veterans or the nation's military with your unsubstantiated claims and rash accusations." Please note that the documents and evidence provided on the AGWVA website speak for themselves and do not require Joyce to make "claims" or "accusations". Mr. McManus has received numerous invitations by talk-show hosts to debate these issues live on the air with Joyce but has refused, and there remains a standing invitation. We have had hundreds of apologies from JBS members because of his remarks. We have also been informed that many lifetime members and contributors have withdrawn their support of the JBS because of Mr. McManus’ stand on this issue. Maybe the JBS should re-evaluate their President.
  10. The American Legion released a memorandum in Oct, 1997 which stated, " Since the close of the Persian Gulf War, several persons have alleged that the Department of Defense created the AIDS virus as a biological weapon in the late 1970s, and sold this biological weapon to the Iraqis during the Iran-Iraq War. They believe that the Iraqis altered the virus and used it against American troops during the Gulf War. The resultant Gulf War Syndrome is contagious, according to these individua1s, and ultimately fatal. They claim that tens of thousands of Gulf War veterans, and their family members, have died from Gulf War Syndrome, and that thousands more will in the future. Their theories are obviously reckless and not supported by any evidence. Similar theories abound about Agent Orange, the Kennedy assassination and a number of other issues and incidents. Conspiracy theories surface after many violent events, from Pearl Harbor, to the Kennedy Assassination, and from Agent Orange to the Oklahoma City Bombing. Thc Gulf War is no different. Reckless conspiracy theories are usually interesting, if not laughable but usually harmless."
  11. Three points come to mind. First, there is overwhelming, irrefutable and undeniable evidence to support our argument. Secondly, it is it being inferred that Agent Orange is only a theory. (A MAJOR slap in the face of Viet Nam Vets) And thirdly, I don’t believe that anybody finds any of these deadly issues laughable. This statement is the most arrogant, cold, callous, insensitive and disrespectful statement I have ever heard from an organization that claims to have the best interest of the Veteran in mind.

Despite these attacks over the past several years, this is the first time we have decided to make a statement regarding these issues. To be quite honest, for the most part we haven’t had to because the information speaks for itself and doesn’t require constant re-enforcement as does propaganda. We actually find these attacks useful because it makes it easy to find out who the rats are. The ones that continue their attacks are obviously working for the other side. Adolph Hitler said, "A lie told often enough will become the truth, and the bigger the lie, the more likely the people are to believe it."

We will continue to offer an open hand and not a clenched fist to those who will support THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, THE CONSTITUTION, THE AMERICAN FLAG, AND THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS! We will continue to fight those who would rather see our military, our sovereignty and our Country fall to a corrupt globalist system rather than to loose a penny of profit. We will continue to stand on the truth, not as we perceive it to be, but rather how it can be proven to be. There can be a million lies, but there is only one truth. WE...WILL...NOT...STOP!

For God and Country,

Joyce Riley vonKleist and Dave vonKleist

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