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|Schwarzkopf Testifies (Side One)||Analysis of Congressional Testimony|
|Schwarzkopf Testifies (Side Two)|
|Schwarzkopf Testifies||Excerpts from Fact or Fiction Video|
|Sept 15th USA Today Article||Schwarzkopf regrets lying to Congress|
January 26, 1998
This is in response to your letter of 8 December. I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you, but I was living in Colorado and only returned to Tampa this week.
Regarding the comments made by Joyce Riley, I don't know who she is and I don't know why she is saying the things you mentioned in your letter. The truth is that there is absolutely no government cover-up concerning a so-called Gulf War Illness. I have always had a reputation of caring for my troops and their well-being. There is certainly no reason why this late in the game I would suddenly change that policy and be a part of any cover-up. I did not lie when I testified before Congress. I told them the absolute truth as I know it to be, and that is that during the time I was the Commander of Desert Storm and since, I never received a single report of Iraqi use of chemical agents against our forces. I did receive one report of one soldier possibly being burned by mustard gas when he entered a bunker. However, all of the follow-up to this report indicated that it could not be substantiated. Since this was not an Iraqi use of chemical weapons, I made sure the soldier received the appropriate medical treatment and he returned immediately to his duties.
The first time I ever heard of Khamisiyah was probably at the same time you did and that was when the information was made public by the Department of Defense. I am sure you can understand when I say that in the position I held during Desert Storm, I didn't receive detailed reports on every unit's activities down to the battalion level. Most of the reports I received were aggregated at least at the division level or higher.
Regrettably, there is nothing I can do about someone like Joyce Riley who wants to attack my reputation over the Internet. The only thing I can do is to allow the Department of Defense task force to continue their work. I am quite confident that in the end they will find, as they have to date, that we took every possible measure to protect you and all of the troops involved in Operation Desert Storm and we are not involved in any sort of cover-up at all.
Because it does involve my troops, I have done a great deal of research into the Gulf War Illness and have discussed the matter with several people in the medical field who are trying to determine the cause. To date, the best information I have received points towards the illness being caused by a combination of chemicals attacking the nervous system. Such things as insect repellent, dog and cat flea collars, PB tablets, combined with all of the other immunizations that we all received may cause illnesses in certain people with a susceptibility to this type of reaction to chemicals. I wish I could tell you that these are conclusive results. I cannot. But I assure you that several notable medical specialists are continuing to investigate to find the cause and, more importantly, the cure for any illness that might have occurred as a result of our serving in Desert Storm.
My advice to you is if you are experiencing health problems that you and your buddies immediately contact the Veterans Administration or a military medical facility to seek physical examinations to determine exactly what your problems might be.
I hope that this letter answers the various questions that you have. Thanks for your letter and, most of all, thanks for serving our country in Operation Desert Storm. Semper Fl!
H. Norman Schwarzkopf
General, U.S. Army, Retired
Gulf War Vets Home Page.