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Some 500 active-duty service members have refused the vaccine, close to 200 have been court-martialed and more than 500 pilots and flight crew members have quit, resigned or transferred from the Air National Guard or Reserves rather than take the vaccine, said Mark S. Zaid, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

The government approved the vaccine three decades ago, and it is used to protect veterinarians and scientists who work with anthrax.  Plaintiffs in the case before Sullivan, unidentified active duty, National Guard and civilian defense employees, say the license covered only exposure through the skin.  Other uses might not be safe, they contend.

Sullivan’s ruling cited a 1998 law that prohibits the use of new drugs or those unapproved for their intended use unless people being given the drug have consented to its use or the president has waived the consent requirement.  Congress passed the law amid suspicions that the use of such drugs may have led to unexplained illnesses among veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War that came to be known as Gulf War Syndrome.

What do you think?  Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome.  Send to the E-mail address up top.  Name, I.D., withheld on request.  Replies confidential.

Big Surprise;

Troop Cuts In Iraq May Wait, Bush Says

(Boston Globe, December 23, 2003, Pg. 1)

The United States may not be able to reduce the number of American troops in Iraq as planned next year, even though significant progress is being made in stabilizing the country, President Bush has told Congress. A status report indicated that large numbers of American troops could remain in Iraq for years.  (So, the more “progress” the more occupation troops that are required.  Why do you suppose that could be?  The Iraqi independence army will make sure that American troops do not “remain in Iraq for years”, unless Bush plans to open military cemeteries there.)

Odious Odierno Out Of His Cage Again

December 23, 2003 By Aleksandar Vasovic Associated Press

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