1999-09-25 / Columnists

From the G-Man

by Gary G. Toms

Hey people! Do you remember when I wrote the column about how cable boxes were being used for surveillance by the government and other agencies? Well, many thought I went off the deep end with that one, and I’m sure some of you will think the same of this week’s installment. Just keep in mind that I am not trying to convince anyone of anything. I am simply presenting some facts, and you can draw your own conclusions.

During the Vietnam War, thousands of soldiers were exposed to a chemical agent known as Agent Orange. Initially, the soldiers were told that the chemical was harmless, and they were lead to believe that its use was vital in the U.S. military operations. Later, Agent Orange was proven to be toxic, and it was banned in early 1970. Today, many Vietnam veterans attribute most of the problems they have, mentally, physically and emotionally, to this chemical.

The Gulf War gave rise to a similar situation. In this war, there were thousands of soldiers who took part, and when they returned home to the U.S., they began to experience all types of physical ailments. Men who had been in great shape most of their lives were now bedridden or experiencing some type of psychological distress. Soon, the government had revealed that during this war, certain chemicals were used in the biological warfare stage, and the soldiers were never informed of the potential health risks. Today, these very soldiers are involved in a legal battle with the U.S. Army, and the government, regarding this situation.

The critically acclaimed HBO film, "Miss Evers Boys", is another example of how chemicals were used to determine the outcome of a particular "study" or biological warfare effects. In the film, which is based on an actual event, hundreds of African-American men were purposely injected with syphilis by doctors acting on orders from the government. Within months, these men became ill, or died, and there was no effort to treat them by the government. A few years ago, President Clinton invited the surviving members of this horrible experiment, and children of those deceased, to the White House for a day of recognition, and he offered an apology on behalf of the government and the nation.

Let me just say this, in the event that you haven’t figured out what my point is. I do not trust the government! That goes for both the state and local levels. Given the latest situation, with all the spraying, it’s more of a case involving the latter. Don’t get me wrong. I know the Mayor, and city officials, were trying to avert a possible outbreak, and I’m all for that. What upsets me is how very little information, regarding just what this crap is, was given to the public. The city officials expect us to be comfortable with the fact that they are telling us it’s safe, and there are very few side effects. Well, it’s that "very few" that I wonder about. Then, on top of everything else, they tell the public that they are going to use two more types of chemicals to combat the problem. Sorry folks, but something doesn’t smell right, and it’s not just that damn spray!

I want to know why a special press conference, and not some 15-minute crap either, wasn’t called by the Mayor’s office. I want to know why a panel of respected doctors and chemical specialists were not assembled to answer the public’s questions and ease their fears. I want to know why they didn’t have people from the Center for Disease Control at bus and train stations, throughout the five boroughs, handing out pamphlets on these chemicals and their effects. I have one idea already. They didn’t do any of these things because they’re a bunch of silly jackasses! Only a jackass would issue the order to hand out cans of OFF, when in a few short days, you’re going to spray the crap all over the city. What good will OFF do if in five years these city officials come back and tell us that certain toxins were found in the spray and they are cancer-causing agents? Keep in mind people, anytime you do something in a rushed manner, you end up regretting it later. I hope this situation will be an exception.

Thank you, Kevin Boyle for giving me a chance when no one else would. I miss you already and I wish you the absolute best. Take care people, see you next week

 

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