With all the chicanery and classified secret ops we were running in SEA, it comes as no surprise that this coverup has been suppressed for so long. Our military often operated sotto voce without even a rudimentary oversight by Congress while we were embroiled in the Vietnam Boundary Dispute. New technology in the form of defoliants was all the rage in the late 50s and early 60s. Because of the nascent Green movement and approbation of NIMBY, many new chemicals were effectively precluded from experimentation on US soil. Where better to find out than someone else’s back yard? Hellooooo, Okinawa.
What I find incongruous is that this is still being suppressed by the U.S. as in “Gosh. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The cat’s out of the bag and all concerned are staring at the ceiling and pretending ignorance or practicing for their denial speeches.
What we don’t know is how many more of these “non-events” will surface in the future. Don’t be surprised to find dioxins mixed in with the Xylenol and Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) down at Camp for the Young (Camp Lejeune) soon. Dow chemical was rather proud of their invention in 1957-so proud that they did very little testing to determine the long term effects of dioxin or picloram. Hell, they didn’t even test for the short term effects other than how well it killed vegetation. From the standpoint of humans, it was probably considered a plus for collateral damage. Here was a defoliant cum chemical agent that could be deployed without consequence world wide. The military could utilize plausible denial to say they had no idea it might be toxic to humans. Now that there is no defense for that excuse, the next best thing is to dig a deep hole and bury the evidence.
Michelle Gatz must be one tenacious babe. She has succeeded in unearthing everything that the government hoped to keep under wraps. The good news is that tens of thousands of Marines and AF Vets will now get the presumptive. With a little more excavation, those who served in Thailand will eventually get theirs. I’m sure the paper trail will eventually reveal Guam and a host of other sub-tropical environs that had rapid vegetation growth issues.
Ladies and Gentlemen Vets-the unveiling of yet another coverup.