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Soldiers Should Be Used As Guinea Pigs For Deadly Experiments

By Pauline Jelinek Associated Press December 23, 2003

The Pentagon’s top military officer on Tuesday defended the practice of giving servicemen and women anthrax vaccinations, saying the shots were important “to protect our troops.”

Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news briefing that he disagreed with a federal judge’s ruling that the Pentagon could not require military personnel to take the vaccinations unless they consent.  (Not enough sick, dying and dead troops for the good General?)

MARK OF THE BEAST

(William Philpott/Reuters)

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said he was convinced by plaintiffs in a class action suit that the vaccine is being “used for an unapproved purpose” — that is, for exposure to airborne anthrax as well as exposure through the skin.

Hundreds of service members have been punished or discharged for refusing them, according to the Pentagon.

Rumsfeld did, however, take issue with the judge’s comment that “Absent an informed consent or presidential waiver, the United States cannot demand that members of the armed forces also serve as guinea pigs for experimental drugs.”

“The comment, if in fact the judge said it, is inaccurate,” Rumsfeld said tersely.

Rep. Christopher Shays said he will ask the Defense Department to begin an immediate review of disciplinary actions taken against service members who refused the vaccines.

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