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Letter to the Editor

NEW YORK Readers wrote in today about a column about Noncombat deaths in Iraq, waterboaring, and circulation numbers.


Who Will Probe 'Noncombat' Deaths in Iraq?

Just as reporter Mark Benjamin was writing about the squalor and poor treatment of Iraq War vets four years before the Washington Post "discovered" the problems five miles from the their offices last spring, he also addressed "mystery pneumonia" in a series of UPI articles in mid-2003.

There is every indication that these deaths were caused by vaccine experimentation, which the Army apparently stopped after the adverse publicity. The "pneumonia" was identical to an autoimmune condition -- hypersensitivity pneumonitis -- associated with anthrax vaccine in medical journal articles by DoD physicians.

DoD and the Army mounted a cover-up and the blame was placed on Iraqi cigarettes, even though similar cases occurred in non-deployed servicemembers. Only lapdog reporters were invited to participate in a telephone conference with former DoD's ASD (Health Affairs) Dr. William Winkenwerder, and the problem was declared solved.

John Richardson
LtCol, USAFR, ret.