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White House Memo reveals Rove knew anthrax vaccines would harm troops

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08/07/2008 01:59 PM
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White House Memo reveals Rove knew anthrax vaccines would harm troops
White House memo exposes Rove knew of problems with anthrax vaccine

Rove said Gulf War Syndrome, vaccine political stumbling block

The Department of Defense continued its controversial mandatory anthrax vaccinations program despite high ranking Bush administration officials acknowledging there were problems with the vaccine within months of the Bush administration taking office—well before the 9/11 attacks and the October 2001 anthrax letters.

A 2001 memorandum from former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove to then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz indicates that the White House knew of problems relating to the Gulf War Syndrome and the military's controversial anthrax vaccine.

Obtained by RAW STORY earlier this year from a senior military official and referenced in today's New York Daily News, Rove wrote, "I do think we need to examine the issues of both Gulf War Syndrome and the Anthrax vaccine and how they can be dealt with. They are political problems for us."

RAW STORY had held off printing the memorandum (which appears below) in an effort to validate its authenticity. Along with the memo, Rove noted that he had attached "material on the Anthrax vaccine problem," which had been forwarded to him by H. Ross Perot. He titled it "GULF WAR SYNDROME AND ANTHRAX."

"It didn't bother me that Rove referred to it as a political problem at the time because it meant that it would be properly dealt with, finally," the military official who leaked the memo said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "The political problem became a problem to me when they dropped the ball and allowed the program to continue. It was politics that motivated them to investigate and it was politics that motivated them to allow the program to continue. Now the political nature bothers me."

The Apr. 25, 2001 memo indicates how long and how far up in the administration the anthrax vaccine—and Gulf War Syndrome—have been considered problematic.

The Pentagon's anthrax vaccine is manufactured by a single contractor, Emergent BioSolutions. It has been plagued with complaints from soldiers and soldiers' advocates, who assert that the vaccine causes myriad debilitating ailments.

The Defense Department was forced to halt mandatory injections in 2004 after a judge ruled that the FDA had not approved the vaccine for its intended use. In 2006, the military resumed mandatory vaccinations after FDA approval, citing letters laced with anthrax in late 2001 as a reason.

Questions about the mailings containing anthrax have re-emerged in the wake of a suicide by a biodefense researcher. At the time of his death, Bruce Ivins, 62, was under federal investigation for the 2001 anthrax attacks that left five people dead and more than a dozen sickened. In a Wednesday joint FBI and Department of Justice press conference, while not officially closing the case, Assistant Director in Charge Joseph Persichini of the FBI Washington Field Office said, "Bruce Ivins was responsible for the death, sickness, and fear brought to our country by the 2001 anthrax mailings."

more at links
The memo is available in PDF format here.
[link to rawstory.com]
Article here.
[link to rawstory.com]
edited to 50%

Last Edited by SPUD on 10/04/2011 02:50 PM
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08/07/2008 06:33 PM
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Re: White House Memo reveals Rove knew anthrax vaccines would harm troops