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U.S. Nerve Gas Hit Over 200,000 American Troops in Iraq

During and immediately after the first Gulf War, more than 200,000 of 700,000 U.S. troops sent to Iraq and Kuwait in January 1991 were exposed to nerve gas and other chemical agents. Though aware of this, the Department of Defense and CIA launched a campaign of lies and concocted a cover-up that continues today.

A quarter of a century later, the troops nearest the explosions are dying of brain cancer at two to three times the rate of those who were farther away. Others have lung cancer or debilitating chronic diseases, and pain.

More complications lie ahead.

According to Dr. Linda Chao, a neurologist at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco, “Because part of their brains, the hippocampus, has shrunk, they’re at greater risk for Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases.”

At first, the DOD was adamant: No troops were exposed.

“No information…indicates that chemical or biological weapons were used in the Persian Gulf,” wrote Secretary of Defense William Perry and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs John Shalikashvili in a 1994 memo to 20,000 Desert Storm veterans. Strictly speaking, they were right: No weapons were used. The nerve agent sarin was in the fallout from the U.S. bombing or detonating of Iraq’s weapons sites.

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