Veterans Affairs: Doing the Right Thing: Doing the Right Thing

Doing the Right Thing

In an experiment more worthy of the Third Reich than the Pentagon, the U.S. Navy between 1943 and 1946 secretly exposed 1,700 men to mustard gas and other chemical-warfare agents to test the effectiveness of protective clothing. Years later, when some of the human guinea pigs began to suffer from serious ailments, the Veterans Administration turned down their disability claims on the ground that they could not prove their conditions were service related.

Last week, under pressure from Congress, the Department of Veterans Affairs conceded that exposure to mustard gas could indeed cause bronchial and lung disorders as well as chronic...

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