Time: Mon Aug 11 13:01:43 1997
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	Mon, 11 Aug 1997 10:08:17 -0700 (MST)
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 10:07:10 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Anti-HIV mix found in Gulf veterans (fwd)

>Anti-HIV mix found in Gulf veterans
> By Paul M. Rodriguez
>A synthetic chemical compound used in
>cutting-edge experimental inoculations against
>HIV has been discovered in the blood of some ailing
>Gulf war veterans, according to Insight magazine. 
>. . . . Pentagon and U.S. government medical
>authorities say no such such inoculations were
>administered during the Gulf war but offer no
>explanation for the presence of the compound called
>squalene in blood samples of hundreds of Gulf war
>veterans who claim to suffer from so-called Gulf
>war syndrome.
>. . . . But these veterans, representing a
>cross-section of the uniformed services, including
>those who served overseas and those who never left
>the United States, say 
>they were given unspecified or secret vaccinations.
>. . . . Adding to the mystery is the inexplicable
>disappearance of as many as 700,000 service-related
>immunization records.
>. . . . The new information about squalene, an
>adjuvant compound used to boost the effects of
>immunizations, comes from a four-month
>investigation into the origins of Gulf war illnesses by
>Insight, which is published by The Washington
>Times Corp.
>. . . . Antibodies for this synthetic squalene were
>discovered in laboratory tests on hundreds of blood
>samples taken from Gulf war soldiers, some who
>became sick after the conflict and others who have
>. . . . These laboratory results, some of which have
>been separately reconfirmed (tests are continuing),
>show unusually high antibody levels for squalene,
>which should not show up in such tests.
>. . . . Squalene as an adjuvant is a synthetic polymer
>that stimulates the body's immune responses when
>mixed with vaccines to make medications more
>effective. It is not approved for human use except in
>the most experimental tests overseen by the
>government in research on cures for illnesses, such
>as HIV and herpes.
>. . . . Government officials say emphatically that no
>experimental HIV immunization tests were
>conducted on the general military population.
>However, they say such tests have been conducted
>by military- and government-backed research
>laboratories on human volunteers. The tests have
>not been publicized but have been conducted over a
>period of several years.
>. . . . Spokesmen from the Veterans Affairs
>Department, the National Institutes of Health and
>the Department of Defense say they are unable to
>explain when asked why squalene shows up in the
>blood of sick soldiers who have been, or decline to
>answer questions about the phenomenon.
>. . . . Timothy Gerrity, a senior official at the VA
>and the only top official investigating Gulf war
>illnesses willing to talk on the record, told Insight
>magazine he "would be surprised" to find out that
>squalene is in the bloodstreams of ill soldiers. All
>vaccinations administered to Gulf war soldiers are
>publicly known, he says, and that no experimental
>drugs involving HIV or other immuno-stimulants
>were given to U.S. troops.
>. . . . Mr. Gerrity says that if the trial tests showing
>squalene are confirmed, the government will
>. . . . Congressional oversight panels, including the
>Senate and House Veterans Affairs committees, also
>plan to investigate the squalene revelations and
>redouble efforts to find still-missing immunization
>records for hundreds of thousands of veterans.
>. . . . Except for work with a few cutting-edge
>pharmaceuticals --and then only with approval from
>federal authorities -- only government agencies are
>involved in human experimental tests using
>adjuvants. Agencies authorized to conduct human
>experiments include the NIH Infectious Diseases and
>Allergy Center and the Walter Reed Army Medical
>. . . . The NIH and Walter Reed facilities have been
>experimenting since at least the late 1980s with
>immunizations that could be effective against the
>HIV virus, which causes AIDS. Typically, the
>experimental "immunizations" are mixed with
>adjuvants -- like squalene or alum -- to provide a
>boost to experimental vaccines. Alum is the only
>U.S.-approved adjuvant for general human use in a
>variety of vaccines and immunizations.
>. . . . "I want to know how squalene, an adjuvant
>that's not supposed to be in these vets, got into these
>vets," says a leading medical specialist who studied
>lab results on blood samples taken from Gulf war
>. . . . These tests, conducted at two prestigious
>laboratories that prefer not to be identified until
>further standardized double-blind testing is
>completed, surveyed fresh blood samples of 200
>soldiers and another 200 blood samples drawn two
>to three years ago by the Defense Department from
>sick Gulf war veterans. The older blood samples
>were taken for unrelated tests.
>. . . . In nearly three-quarters of the blood from both
>testing pools, tests showed positive for squalene
>. . . . The test results were similar to those from
>experimental test subjects in experimental HIV and
>sexually transmitted disease studies at the NIH. In
>these cases, the medications they received contained
>. . . . How then, the reasearchers want to know, did
>the tested Gulf war soldiers get antibodies for an
>adjuvant whose only known use is experimental?
>. . . . "We have found soldiers who are not sick that
>do not have the antibodies," says one of the
>independent laboratory scientists hired by Insight.
>"We found soldiers who never left the United States
>but who got shots who are sick, and they have
>squalene in their systems. We found people who
>served overseas in various parts of the desert that
>are sick who have squalene. And we found people
>who served in the desert but were civilians who
>never got these shots [administered by the federal
>government] who are not sick and do not have
>. . . . In short, says a senior government official
>familiar with the new blood tests, "I can't tell you
>why it's there, but there it is. And I can tell you this,
>too: the sicker an individual, the higher the level of
>antibodies for this [squalene] stuff."
>. . . . Says a high-level Defense Department official
>also familiar with the tests: "I'm not telling you that
>squalene is making these people sick, but I am telling
>you that the sick ones have it in them. It's probably
>whatever was used [mixed] with the squalene that's
>doing it, or in combination with the squalene. You
>find that, and you may be on to something."
>. . . . Theories about adjuvants were first advanced
>about two years ago by Pamela Asa, a Tennessee
>immunologist who specializes in auto-immune
>diseases and symptomatology. Military and civilian
>government authorities dismissed her charges at the
>. . . . Air Force Col. Ed Koenigsberg, director of the
>Pentagon's Persian Gulf war Veterans' Illness
>Investigation Team, testified before the President's
>Advisory Committee on Persian Gulf Veterans
>Disease in October 1995 that theories such as Dr.
>Asa's were not plausible because no adjuvant other
>than aluminum adjuvants (alum) had been used on
>U.S. soldiers, and no secret immunizations were
>. . . . However, the military did commission a study
>of so-called "adjuvants disease" and possible
>unknown immunizations that may have been given
>Gulf war soldiers.
>. . . . The study, prepared by the U.S. Army
>Medical Research and Materiel Command and
>released in March 1996, concluded that the only
>vaccines and immunizations administered to soldiers
>were publicly known and were alum-based and that
>nothing but alum was used as an adjuvant.
>. . . . But as the General Accounting Office noted in
>a recently concluded study: "Six years after the war,
>little is conclusively known about the causes of Gulf
>war veterans' illnesses. ... 
>. . . . "None of the comments we received provide
>evidence to challenge our principal findings and
>conclusions that (1) DoD and VA have no means to
>systematically determine whether symptomatic Gulf
>war veterans are better or worse today than when
>they were first examined and (2) ongoing
>epidemiological research will not provide precise,
>accurate, and conclusive answers regarding the
>causes of the Gulf war veterans' illnesses."
>. . . . The only way, according to the GAO, for the
>government to begin finding out what's wrong with
>Gulf war veterans is to begin a comprehensive study
>of the patients, including high-tech laboratory work
>to explain, among other things, the presence of
>antibodies for squalene.

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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