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Study Shows Agent Orange Still Taints Aging C-123s

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the just-paint-over-it dept.

The Military 166

__roo writes "Herbicides used in Vietnam in the 1970s still pose a threat to servicemen, according to a study published Friday. The U.S. Air Force and Department of Veteran Affairs denied benefits to sick veterans, taking the position that any dioxin or other components of Agent Orange contaminating its fleet of C-123 cargo planes would have been 'dried residues' and unlikely to pose meaningful exposure risks. According to the lead researcher, 'The VA, whether out of ignorance or malice, has denied the entire existence of this entire branch of science. They have this preposterous idea that somehow there is this other kind of state of matter — a dried residue that is completely inert.' To show that such exposures happened, her research team had to be 'very clever.'"

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criminals!!! (4, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | about 8 months ago | (#46319063)

if it was a private company that did not have a fascist relationship with the government you know the EPA would be all up in their asses

Re:criminals!!! (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 8 months ago | (#46320937)

Personally, I'm kind of curious as to where a functioning C-123 could still be found these days... I'm former Air Force, worked on active flightlines in numerous places globally, and the only C-123s I've seen were either in museums or were operated by the South Koreans (and the latter was way over 20 years ago).

Not sure where the big alarm is, now that I think about it. I mean, unless some curator leaves one of his exhibits open for public walkthrough, and some kid literally licks the cargo compartment walls...

Re:criminals!!! (1)

rhook (943951) | about 8 months ago | (#46321303)

Yep, they were retired in 1980.

However this should shed some more light on the matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org]

Re:criminals!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320943)

Sure, maybe that. Or maybe some of us just like the word "taint".

Enough witht the hyperbole (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319081)

Not saying that dried residues aren't dangerous, but the researcher's quote in the summary comes off as extremely disingenuous.

Of course being exposed to dried residues will result in much lower levels of exposure than being REPEATEDLY DOUSED with liquid herbicide as were field infantry in the Vietnam war.

Toxicology is all about maximum safe dosages - scary sounding toxins like arsenic, radon, dioxin, mercury, and even radionucleotides are pervasive in our environment. The question is whether the level of exposure is biologically significant or not. While the VA's contention that the levels of exposure to Agent Orange residues is safe is a valid matter for debate, they nowhere claim that it has magically transformed into some heretofore unknown state of matter.

Re:Enough witht the hyperbole (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319129)

The "Anus Child." The naked child who huddles in the corner of a dark room. A 6 inch diameter anus. White, sticky mucus covers his anus. Anyone who walks inside or near the room is overwhelmed by the scent of ass.

What's inside the Anus Child's anus? The Anal Fetus. The one who controls the Anus Child like a puppet... from within!

Re:Enough witht the hyperbole (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 8 months ago | (#46321509)

It's "radionuclides". You've been watching too much crap Sci-Fi.

Re:Enough witht the hyperbole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46321769)

It's "radionuclides". You've been watching too much crap Sci-Fi.

Radionucleotide is a common term for radiolabelled nucleotides which are often used in molecular biology and other research. It's not a case of watching too much crap sci fi, it's a case of confusing two commonly confused words.

Malice? I think not. (5, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 8 months ago | (#46319101)

I'm a 'Nam vet and I get all of my health care from the VA. With very, very rare exceptions, everybody I've dealt with over the last several decades has understood that if it weren't for people like me, they wouldn't have their government jobs. Once in a while, I'll grant, there's a paper-pusher who's more interested in making sure that the forms are filled out than in giving good service, but almost everybody who is involved in caring for veterans and their dependents gives good, prompt, cheerful service. If the VA has been denying that dioxins in C-123s is a hazard, there are many possible reasons, but malice is the least likely of all. As in everything else, ignorance is always a much more probable reason.

Re:Malice? I think not. (5, Interesting)

Camel Pilot (78781) | about 8 months ago | (#46319201)

My father was a service connected disabled (both physical and mental) WW2 Vet and I would strongly disagree with this assessment. I took care of him for many years and struggled with the VA - although they did increase his pension towards the end.

The VA psych doctors were compassionless, unprofessional and bottom of the class grade doctors and I would often have to research the drugs they were prescribing and inform them of the side-effects and suitability to his condition. They eventually killed my father by over prescribing drugs like Haldol and other harsh psychotropics.

Re:Malice? I think not. (4, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 8 months ago | (#46319247)

All I can say is, what I reported is not just my own personal experience, but that of every vet I know who uses the VA. I'm sorry that you ran across a set of bad apples, and that they did your father's condition so much damage. And, I'll agree that the psych departments are probably the worst; I needed help from them at one point and I had to fight with the person doing the original write-up to get her to describe my complaints as I told them to her, instead of re-writing them to fit her own pre-conceived ideas. (She simply couldn't understand that I could be unemployed, broke and depressed without being violent and/or suicidal.)

Re:Malice? I think not. (4, Interesting)

Camel Pilot (78781) | about 8 months ago | (#46319317)

All I can say is, what I reported is not just my own personal experience, but that of every vet I know who uses the VA. I'm sorry that you ran across a set of bad apples, and that they did your father's condition so much damage. And, I'll agree that the psych departments are probably the worst; I needed help from them at one point and I had to fight with the person doing the original write-up to get her to describe my complaints as I told them to her, instead of re-writing them to fit her own pre-conceived ideas. (She simply couldn't understand that I could be unemployed, broke and depressed without being violent and/or suicidal.)

I understand we each have our experiences. Yes the psych departments are the worst.... I didn't really have a problem with the physical medical care side of things. In fact I would agree that the teams assigned to the general medical side generally do a good job.

People need to understand that wars produce causalities and those causalities need to be taken care... sometimes for the rest of their lives. A war is never over until the last person involved dies.

Re:Malice? I think not. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319397)

Psychologists everywhere are the worst. It's not the VA that's the problem, it's the profession. It needs to be purged with fire and sword.

But perhaps they could never even understand that's figurative language, because none of them took a class in literature.

Re:Malice? I think not. (3, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 8 months ago | (#46320093)

Despite the flames I'll get for saying it and the vehement disagreement proponents will spew, that's because psychology is not a science. Not even a little bit. The human mind is far too complex a thing for the current state of our understanding to treat scientifically. Psychologists aren't much better than snake oil salesmen.

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320195)

Despite the flames I'll get for saying it and the vehement disagreement proponents will spew, that's because psychology is not a science. Not even a little bit. The human mind is far too complex a thing for the current state of our understanding to treat scientifically. Psychologists aren't much better than snake oil salesmen.

Simple question is, what scientific test do they perform to diagnose a 'chemical imbalance' before prescribing pills to attempt to 'correct the imbalance'? If it's a chemical imbalance, then there *must* be a test to find it right? Blood workup? MRI/CT scan (with some element that crosses the blood/brain barrier to see maybe)?

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

rhook (943951) | about 8 months ago | (#46321311)

They dump a bag of chicken bones out and get a reading from the way they land. The bones never lie!

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 8 months ago | (#46320203)

In fairness social psychology at least seems to be becoming a real science - it's apparently not nearly so difficult to model the behavior of groups of people as individuals. Just our luck that the only branch of psychology to be an actual science is the one that's really good for manipulating us (as a group) into buying shit we wouldn't otherwise want, and predicting just how far they can push a population before something snaps. Coincidence?

Re:Malice? I think not. (1, Informative)

sjames (1099) | about 8 months ago | (#46321443)

I find it truly amazing (in a bad way). They claim to know the mechanism for depression and even psychosis yet they just use trial and error with the drugs they prescribe. They have no idea why one 'works' and another doesn't nor why the one that works stops working and another that didn't work starts working. It's about as scientific as slapping the side of the TV until the picture stops rolling.

The so-called double-blind tests of psychiatric drugs are a farce since sugar pills have no side effect but the active drugs they test have clear and obvious side effects. I doubt any patient on the actual drug doesn't know it.

They actually think that if the patient isn't aware of memory loss, there isn't any. According to the best of their reasoning, a powerful seditive cures a broken leg since the patient no longer complains about it (or anything else, naturally) once the dose is high enough.

I get that it's a tough nut to crack, but that doesn't excuse pretending to know things they obviously don't have a clue about.

Re:Malice? I think not. (3, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 8 months ago | (#46320295)

Psychologists everywhere are the worst. It's not the VA that's the problem, it's the profession.

Except he wasn't talking about psychologists. He was talking about psychiatrists. Not at all the same thing.

Re:Malice? I think not. (0)

rhook (943951) | about 8 months ago | (#46321315)

Pretty much the same thing. Only real difference is one gets paid more and can prescribe drugs.

Re:Malice? I think not. (1, Troll)

sjames (1099) | about 8 months ago | (#46321449)

Psychologists seem to do a lot less damage and there are at least a few things psychology seems to actually effectively treat. Psychiatry is voodoo with the ability to prescribe really whacky drugs indiscriminately.

Re:Malice? I think not. (0)

ttucker (2884057) | about 8 months ago | (#46321653)

If you aren't hearing voices when you show up, they have a drug for that, and another one to cure it.

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 months ago | (#46319451)

I think the mental side is often more difficult than the physical side when it comes to the effects of war on an individual service member. We still don't have a really good understanding of what goes on inside the head due to the events and demands of war, although a much better picture is emerging with modern medicine, research, and the veterans of the current conflicts. When you add to that the difficulties with finding effective treatments and drugs without bad side effects, some veterans have had a very difficult road to walk indeed. In wars past the US hasn't always done well in treating psychological casualties. And the US military's personnel system used in some wars didn't provide the structure and practices that other armies have had that helped provide resilience in soldiers. Hopefully things will improve on all fronts, and there will be a future of greater peace that won't call for such sacrifice.

I'm sorry to hear about your father. I hope he found some peace, and you as well.

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 8 months ago | (#46320225)

In wars past the US hasn't always done well in treating psychological casualties. And the US military's personnel system used in some wars didn't provide the structure and practices that other armies have had that helped provide resilience in soldiers.

This is a bit of an understatement. Other than to create terms like 'shell shock' and 'combat fatigue', long term psychological problems developed by people (non soldiers as well) in combat areas were actively ignored and swept under the table. The reasons are actually pretty clear - PTSD (the current term of art) is pervasive among combat veterans and very, very dificult to treat. Best if it doesn't happen.

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 8 months ago | (#46320183)

As a point, it's not just US VA in the US but Canada, and Europe as well with piss poor psych departments. I've always wondered if the field draws up a special kind of asshole, especially from everything I've seen or heard second hand from friends who've been at their mercies.

Re:Malice? I think not. (3, Interesting)

Nutria (679911) | about 8 months ago | (#46319357)

All I can say is, what I reported is not just my own personal experience, but that of every vet I know who uses the VA.

Did you all use the same VA hospital?

I know that the quality of the Principal heavily dictates the quality of the school. Maybe the same goes for hospital administrators.

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 8 months ago | (#46319399)

Did you all use the same VA hospital?

Not all VA facilities are hospitals. Yes, some of us used the same VA hospital, but others get their care at a clinic that's closer to where they live. Depending on what I need, I use both, giving an overlap and a broader perspective. Although they're both in the Los Angeles area, neither one of them has any authority over the other. What happens in other parts of the country I don't know, but I have no reason to think that my experiences aren't typical.

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#46321293)

I knew someone in Hawaii who would have died if he didn't have access to the higher quality facilities at a military hospital. YMMV.

Re:Malice? I think not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319649)

... the quality of the Principal heavily dictates the quality of the school...

Qualis rex, talis grex.

Nihil mutat.

Re:Malice? I think not. (1, Insightful)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 8 months ago | (#46319695)

My father was a service connected disabled (both physical and mental) WW2 Vet and I would strongly disagree with this assessment. I took care of him for many years and struggled with the VA - although they did increase his pension towards the end.

The VA psych doctors were compassionless, unprofessional and bottom of the class grade doctors and I would often have to research the drugs they were prescribing and inform them of the side-effects and suitability to his condition. They eventually killed my father by over prescribing drugs like Haldol and other harsh psychotropics.

And yet, Slashdot in general lauds the takeover of medicine by government.

Re:Malice? I think not. (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 months ago | (#46319885)

And that of course is why you received a "-1 flamebait" unjustly. Some moderators believe, mistakenly, that their job is to punish nonconformity in thinking.
 

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 8 months ago | (#46320065)

And that of course is why you received a "-1 flamebait" unjustly. Some moderators believe, mistakenly, that their job is to punish nonconformity in thinking.

Guess I made the mistake of saying something true :)

Anyway, I must have been wrong. I'm sure their government doctors would be skilled, compassionate, etc., nothing like the government doctors we already have and can see. Er, just because.

Re:Malice? I think not. (3, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 8 months ago | (#46320235)

Guess I made the mistake of saying something true :)

No, you made the mistake of thinking a doctor paid by the government is the same thing as a doctor employed by the government. Those of us who live in civilized societies know this to be false, under most (if not all) UHC schemes the government takes the role of medical insurer, not the role of care giver. The doctors and nurses are the same people under both regimes.

Re:Malice? I think not. (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 months ago | (#46320787)

under most (if not all) UHC schemes the government takes the role of medical insurer, not the role of care giver.

That really depends on the form of government. In some it does, in many it hasn't, historically. You could inquire with the former residents of what was the Soviet bloc, for example.

Those of us who live in civilized societies ...

Which includes the US. The US has a different system with different trade-offs in terms of pricing, wait times, drug and technology availability, and so on. Although there are challenges for the US system, it isn't clear that either the UK's NHS or Canada's current systems are sustainable in their present form either. Australia seems to be in better shape, and might be the best model if the US goes to some form of nationalized healthcare. It is clear that the continuing train wreck that is Obamacare will have to be done away with, reformed, or replaced. It seems unlikely that the Democrats will consent to removing the wreckage having forced it on the country.

Re:Malice? I think not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46321347)

Isn't it the same as the one created by a Republican candidate?

Re:Malice? I think not. (0)

sjames (1099) | about 8 months ago | (#46321505)

Not really, no. Our system costs twice as much for less effective medicine.

I agree that Obamacare (AKA Romneycare) isn't really the answer but the GOP wouldn't allow an actual comprehensive system to get through the House.

Re:Malice? I think not. (3, Interesting)

dryeo (100693) | about 8 months ago | (#46320085)

The problem with government is sometimes the business types get in charge. It's happening in my country, veteran affairs was cut back to close to nothing, no more pensions as they're too expensive. Most all offices closed down because too expensive. Large amount of Afghanistan vets committing suicide, just a cost of business and they should have been tougher. Yet the government has lots of money for PR purposes with record amounts spent on advertising how fiscally responsible they are and what a great job they're doing.

Re:Malice? I think not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46321381)

I wonder how many Vets having a shootout in a government department it would take to change their minds...

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

sjames (1099) | about 8 months ago | (#46321491)

The problem with your theory is that the problem he described applies equally to non-VA psychiatry.

Note the many comments lauding the other practices within the VA system.

Based on the horror stories I have seen and heard outside of the VA, I would be prepared to give it a try if I could.

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

sjames (1099) | about 8 months ago | (#46321355)

That sounds like a description of psychiatry in general, not just a VA thing.

Psych's in general (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 8 months ago | (#46321773)

From the stories I've heard from people that have dealt with psychologists (particularly assigned ones), is that they tend to be fairly dismissive an uncaring in general. Your experience may have been more because it was a psychologist than them being with VA.

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about 8 months ago | (#46319301)

If the VA has been denying that dioxins in C-123s is a hazard, there are many possible reasons, but malice is the least likely of all. As in everything else, ignorance is always a much more probable reason.

If the person making the statement was simply ignorant of the facts he could look them up before acting. Wilful irresponsibility counts as malice in my books.

Re:Malice? I think not. (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 8 months ago | (#46319321)

Unless they are somehow fundamentally different from civilian medical services, I'd be inclined to suspect that the arm of the VA that is doctors and hospitals may have a very different attitude than the arm that is essentially a medical insurance agency...

Especially if the fight is over some relatively large epidemiological class ('Post-Vietnam C-123 crews') potentially being blanket-added or default-denied, that would be where the cost-reduction guys come slithering out from under their rocks.

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 8 months ago | (#46320217)

I object the serpentine imagery you're attaching to amoral cost-reduction professionals.

It's deeply insulting to snakes.

Re:Malice? I think not. (3, Interesting)

macraig (621737) | about 8 months ago | (#46319353)

The VA folks you have encountered are all rank-and-file types and none of them top brass, correct? If so then your analogy is misleading, since the people we are discussing here are in fact the decision-makers and the adverse consequences of their decisions. While the rank and file folks may be very humane people, experience has (or should have) taught us that the majority of top brass in every human hierarchy are sociopaths, not humane people. Your anecdote is not representative of those people, and they are the subject here.

Re:Malice? I think not. (2)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 8 months ago | (#46319515)

The VA folks you have encountered are all rank-and-file types and none of them top brass, correct?

I won't say that I've ever encountered any of the top brass, but I have had a number of interactions with managers of various levels. In one case, a manager apologized to me for slow service, explaining that although he was authorized to have twelve clerks, upper management had only given him five, and he'd not been able to pry the other seven loose from whatever else they were doing. And once, I was complaining about how far behind a department had gotten, I was asked by a suit to discuss the issue. It turned out that this department was under investigation for exactly that, and they needed my testimony to help find out just what was happening and why. I even got a call, once, from the manager in charge of a small community clinic because I'd complained about a complete lack of common sense in their phlebotomist. (He'd insisted on taking blood samples from orders that were several years old but not signed off, even though I had paperwork with me showing exactly what tests I needed.) The next time I came in, the phlebotomist told me how sorry he was and that it wouldn't happen again.

Re:Malice? I think not. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319363)

Singing the praises of a single payer health care system? What are you, some kind of commie traitor?

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | about 8 months ago | (#46319849)

Agreed. And where other hospitals try to provide all the care they think they can bill your insurance for, the VA is trapped between trying to be fiscally responsible and being seen by the public as taking good care of our veterans. It's a tough position to be in. I've had good and bad experiences with the VA, but mostly good. And I'm a priority 7 patient or whatever level it is that means broke as hell but without any service-connected disability.

Re:Malice? I think not. (2)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 8 months ago | (#46319927)

Ah. I'm now priority six: broke as hell, but with a zero-percent service connected disability. I have hearing problems that can be traced back to being exposed to too much outgoing shore support back on the Gun Line in '72. It's not enough for compensation, but I do get my hearing aids and batteries for free, and get pushed ahead of people like you when I need access to a limited resource. I'm not sure, but I may have gotten a benefit from this once. After I had my first cataract surgery, I was told that they couldn't schedule my second for six months, so they put me on a waiting list. My second eye was taken care of only six weeks later. I can't be sure, of course, that I bumped somebody else, but I've always wondered about it.

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

BrokenSoldier (737420) | about 8 months ago | (#46320171)

You may have, at least, a claim for tinnitus-if, of course, you have that. That is 10% and at least is something.

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 8 months ago | (#46320445)

No, or at least that's not why I need hearing aids. I have what's called an artillery notch: a loss of hearing acuity at certain frequencies caused by mechanical damage, but the loss isn't high enough for compensation. I get my hearing tested every two years, but it hasn't degraded enough as yet to change my rating.

Re: Malice? I think not. (1)

BrokenSoldier (737420) | about 8 months ago | (#46320967)

Ugh.I know how that selective frequency hearing loss goes.

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 8 months ago | (#46319887)

1. Chemicals degrade over time oxygen is great at destroying most compounds.
2. The C-123s have been out of US military service since the early 1980s.The only C-123s left in US military service are in museums.

Re:Malice? I think not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320625)

I think, as other commenters are saying, that this is strongly related to where you are getting your help.

My uncle, who is also a Vietnam veteran, has just now been getting some level of help from the VA after beating cancer three separate times, which have all been linked to exposure to Agents Orange, Purple and others that I did not know existed. At every chance, the VA is blocking with assistance, often without a smile on their face. Sadly, my brother has been facing similar issues with the VA related to injuries sustained in Afghanistan, and he was in Bethesda, MD (a major VA hospital).

The VA is known for this type of behavior and I have met numerous people with identical experiences from completely different locations.

With that, I have no idea about the dried up chemicals, but I will always be highly suspicious of the VA's side of things based on the above personal experience, and added secondhand experience.

Re:Malice? I think not. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 8 months ago | (#46320771)

Agreed, and that's why I've been careful to make it clear that it's my own personal experience, and that of my friends. I only know what the quality of service is here in the Los Angeles area, because that's where I live and where I get my care. Yes, there are some bad apples, and possibly the management at some facilities encourages that attitude, but I can't testify to that because I haven't seen it. And, I still find it hard to believe that people are being blocked from getting proper care in this case because of malice, because I've not seen the slightest suggestion as to what reason there'd be for VA management to have such an attitude toward total strangers.

Re:Malice? I think not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46321447)

I don't mean to insult you in any way and I'm sure you did a fine job, but "if it weren't for people like me, they wouldn't have their government jobs" - are you insinuating Vietnam was ever going to realistically invade the USA and wipe out the American people? Sounds a bit ridiculous to me.

Re:Malice? I think not. (2)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 8 months ago | (#46321547)

No. I was referring to the fact that most of the veterans using the VA either aren't disabled or are getting treated for conditions that have nothing to do with the service, and if it weren't for us, 90% of the people working for the VA would be out of work.

Somewhere else in this thread I mentioned that I had cataract surgery done by the VA. There's a very small chance that I developed cataracts because I worked on CW radar in the Navy, but if so, there's no way of proving it. I never set foot ashore in 'Nam, so there's very little chance that my Type II diabetes has anything to do with Agent Orange. And yet, I get medical care for these and other conditions from the VA, and because I'm on a very limited income, I'm not charged. If the VA didn't provide that kind of care and only dealt with conditions that were directly related to the service, it would be far, far smaller, and that's what I was talking about.

Re:Malice? I think not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46321785)

I've always had the suspicion that the VA was created to treat veterans to help cover up chronic illnesses caused by the US government's disregard for the troops' safety.

Linked articles (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319211)

Not much information in the linked articles. A Huff Post fluff piece and a summary of the study, which is behind a pay wall. No way to say if the study really says anything important.

Serving in the Military (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319243)

Yet *another* reason not to serve in the military.

Re:Serving in the Military (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319417)

Actually, it's still just the one: cowardice.

Re:Serving in the Military (2, Insightful)

o_ferguson (836655) | about 8 months ago | (#46319525)

...said the anonymous coward.

Re:Serving in the Military (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46321675)

If you're so keen on being shot for someone else's interests, then bugger off to Iraq and stay there.

Re:Serving in the Military (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 8 months ago | (#46319727)

Yet *another* reason not to serve in the military.

Um, your other choice is to do whatever your invaders happen to want you to do, which will likely also be dangerous and unpleasant. Possibly even more so ...

Do you really think that the rest of the world would just leave your country alone, if it didn't have a military?

Re:Serving in the Military (2, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about 8 months ago | (#46319781)

There's always the idea the U.S. Founding Fathers had: citizens should join a defensive militia, but not a standing army.

Re:Serving in the Military (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320311)

That was the whole reason for the Second Amendment: to keep a ready reserve of armed citizens for militia service, because we didn't have a standing army to repel invaders. Now that we've got a permanent standing army[1] and thus no need for a militia, well-regulated or otherwise, there's no constitutional basis or need for the Second Amendment.

[1] it's got a fig leaf, despite being unconstitutional: it's re-authorized every two years by Congress, which is technically allowed but against the spirit.

Re:Serving in the Military (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46321153)

But if we didn't have a standing army, how would we defend our freedom in other people's countries?

Let's see you do *that* with a defensive militia. Ha!

Re:Serving in the Military (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46321691)

No, it was one of many reasons for the Second Amendment. A standing Army in no way invalidates the natural right to self defense. In fact, a standing army doesn't even invalidate the need for the militia. It increases it.

Colonial America had a standing army in 1776, too. They wore red coats.

Re:Serving in the Military (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46321413)

Our founders provided for a permanent Navy. A navy requires big, expensive ships with complex systems and thus expertly-trained crews familiar with those systems and well-practised in their use. A navy also operates along the periphery of the nation and is thereby unable to be turned againsts its citizens.

Our founders provided for a permanent Marine Corps (not as a separate branch of the military, but as a component of the Navy, which it still is to this day). The Marines were to be the navy's soldiers (initially, firing rifles at the crews of opposing ships while the sailors fired canons at the opposing ships themselves) both at sea and for deploying from ships on boats to attack enemies ashore, and also to provide security at US embassies abroad. They were specialized, small units, attached to ships and embassies and therefore, like the Navy, no threat to the American people.

Our founders were aware of flight and its potential, Ben Franklin, famous for flying kites and for thinking out-of-the-box, was keenly aware of the Montgolfier Balloons and wrote about the future use of balloons to move troops (this was an obvious extrapolation for him at that time) and probably would have seen an air force as something between an army (potentially dangerous to its own citizens and tempting misuse by a tyrant) and a navy (requiring expensive complex machines, and therefore well-trained full-time crews). While we'll never know for sure, the odds are they would have allowed a permanent "standing" Air Force with significant checks.

Our founders were very explicitly opposed to a permanent "standing" army. They belived that if all free adult male citizens (who were not mentally ill or morally opposed) were in posession of frontline combat weapons and ammo, no foreign power would successfully invade and no tyrant would be able to take over (turning a standing army into an oppressor of the people - as so often happens in history). As in so many "reforms" that have been pushed by various interests (always because we have an "emergency") the "standing" nature of the modern US Army has had bad side-effects. Nearly every modern president has thought he had an army he could choose to deploy overseas to advance his foreign policy goals (often w/o congressional declaration of war). The cost to the American people has been high in both blood and treasure, and most of these deployments have ended badly (usually NOT by failure of the soldiers but rather by flaky politicians who love to be seen as solving international problems but hate dealing with the details or the price tag) frequently leaving more of a mess than existed before our troops were sent in to "make things better".

As with things like "term limits", the change in how we pick senators, etc. The cure is often worse than the "problem". We ignore the founders to our peril... they spent YEARS studying many forms of government, debating how human nature and those forms of government collided, plotting strategies to build a system better than those that came before, etc and they wrote down all the arguments pro and con of many of these debates for us to study. They tried their initial ideas (which did not work too well - there was a bit too little central government) then want back at the problem and gave us our Constitution. I personally disregard any "reform" proposals if they come from people I know have not studied all the arguments our founders made ... both because they display a lack of seriousness if they reject this academic work, and because they all to often are proposing a version of something our founders rejected for very sound reasons.

Re:Serving in the Military (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319795)

No, but if the US didn't enter wars on the other side of the world, they wouldn't have had to exfoliate jungles...and there would be one less reason not to join the military.

Re:Serving in the Military (1)

Livius (318358) | about 8 months ago | (#46320097)

If the US had a military that was only defensive, then, yes, the rest of the world would gladly leave them alone.

Re:Serving in the Military (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 8 months ago | (#46320253)

Clearly you don't understand the defensive doctrine known as preemptive retaliation.

Damn. That was supposed to be snarky, but then I remembered it's a real thing well-supported by game theory.

Re:Serving in the Military (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about 8 months ago | (#46320453)

Here's a list of countries without armed forces [wikipedia.org] -- they do not appear to be getting attacked often.

Re:Serving in the Military (2)

bluegutang (2814641) | about 8 months ago | (#46321765)

Most of those states are either isolated islands or European city-states. Both are under the effective protection of countries with militaries - either major sea powers like the US, or large European states like Italy.

The only states not in those categories are Costa Rica, Panama, and Haiti. Each of these countries is relatively isolated (no more than one border with a country that has a military), without oil or other resources to fight over, and to some extent under the shadow of the US military.

So this is not really a model that most countries can follow.

Re:Serving in the Military (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46321795)

If we weren't always sending out Team America maybe there wouldn't be so many people trying to kill us out of revenge. Also, the majority of what our military does is clear the way for some politician's corporate buddies to go and cash in on resources. Don't believe me? Ask one of our highest decorated marines.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

imaginary semi-chosens believe anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319297)

no choice? http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=spray%20poisons&sm=3

WMD on credit holycost hits high gear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319323)

never a better time to consider ourselves in relation to each other & other living stuff http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=starving%20populations&sm=3

Still? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319303)

Err, those planes have been out of the inventory for thirty years or more, as the abstract confirms. All or damn close to all have been turned back into aluminum ingots - a process that should eliminate dioxin contamination from the metal. You might have the occasional light exposure from moving an old aircraft about, and anyone still using these on the civilian market (there used to be a few) should pay attention to this, but staying 'still contaminating' is a bit alarmist.

Re:Still? (1)

Warphammer (610896) | about 8 months ago | (#46319307)

Whoops, that was me.

Pretty sure the USAF knew (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 8 months ago | (#46319309)

I thought the last of the C-123's that were used to spray Agent Orange were destroyed in 2010. [blogspot.com] I didn't RTFA, so I don't know if the planes in question are still in service.

Re:Pretty sure the USAF knew (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 8 months ago | (#46319807)

Agent Orange damage can be permanent, and debilitating (at least, as it was used in Vietnam). If some of those planes lasted until 2010, and if the residue in question is at all dangerous, then it's not outrageous to imagine ongoing diagnosis.

In fact, military preparation for decommissioning / dismantling might dramatically increase the risk of airborne particulates containing the substance. (For instance: asbestos is generally quite safe until you stir it up doing remodeling, etc.) It's still a dose that pales in comparison to what happened during the war, but it would be the highest dose encountered from those planes in decades.

Is Classic the new Beta? (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 8 months ago | (#46319371)

The last couple of days I've been seeing layout bugs (like right now one of the sidebar boxes is blocking the "Load More Comments" button) and links to stories getting disabled a few seconds after loading the front page.

Has Dice decided to make classic the new beta or something?

For the want of editors (5, Informative)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 8 months ago | (#46319381)

Original article title:

Agent Orange Posed A Health Threat To Servicemen Long After Vietnam

Slashdot headline:

Herbicides used in Vietnam in the 1970s still pose a threat to servicemen

These planes were repurposed for other duties during the 70's. They went out of service in 1982. They don't "still" pose a threat because nobody is using them. The issue is for the servicemen who worked on them 40 years ago.

Re:For the want of editors (2)

jo7hs2 (884069) | about 8 months ago | (#46319539)

I came here to point this out. The aircraft has been retired for over 30 years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org]

Ei4! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319463)

Best. Individuals ypou get distracted

Maybe I have a claim (1)

JThaddeus (531998) | about 8 months ago | (#46319789)

I'll have to check my jump log.

All but three.... (2)

niftymitch (1625721) | about 8 months ago | (#46319811)

Sigh....In the article: "All but three of the aircraft were smelted down in 2009"
So smelt down the last three.

Dioxin is a real problem but the 34 aircraft involved and their crew is a very small
population. There are vastly more dioxin contaminated transformers and workers
scattered far and wide.

Someone is attempting to make a buck selling instrumentation in most likelihood.

Blowback (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 8 months ago | (#46320029)

Wars hurt everyone who participates. I don't see why Agent Orange is any more or less worthy of our outrage and horror than the land mines, heroin addiction, PTSD and metal projectiles fired with the purpose of penetrating flesh.

For some reason, we have classified guns and fighter jets as sexy, but Agent Orange as a monstrosity. There must have been less profit in poisonous chemical defoliants.

Re:Blowback (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320245)

Wars hurt everyone who participates. I don't see why Agent Orange is any more or less worthy of our outrage and horror than the land mines, heroin addiction, PTSD and metal projectiles fired with the purpose of penetrating flesh.

For some reason, we have classified guns and fighter jets as sexy, but Agent Orange as a monstrosity. There must have been less profit in poisonous chemical defoliants.

Our guns and fighter jets hurt "those people over there", not our own troops. So, our guns & jets are good, their guns and jets are bad. Our Agent Orange hurt our own troops... oops, *BAD!!* Our Agent Orange and Napalm killed a million of "them", no problem. We shoot Depleted Uranium (DU) shells through their tanks, good. Our troops get sick? Well, either "Bad" or denial. "They" have deformed babies and the like for the next 100 years, no problem.

Our guns kill millions in other countries? "good", our troops need more and better guns. Our guns kill a bunch of school kids in another country, or a wedding party with women and children? "oops", "collateral damage". Our guns kill a bunch of our own school kids, bad, bad, bad, we need to take all guns away.

See how it works?

Re:Blowback (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 8 months ago | (#46320335)

I think it probably boils down to how many friendly-fire casualties it causes. So long as you're not fighting on your own soil, land mines only kill enemy combatant infrastructure support personnel (mustn't call them civilians). Guns and fighter jets are mostly tightly-controlled, they only kill civilians and friendlies if you tell them to. And most addiction cases are self-induced, especially for non-pharmaceuticals. If you walk naked and unarmed into the wolf-filled woods very few people will have much sympathy at your demise.

Herbicides!? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320089)

When the US does it, it's herbicides. When anyone else does it, it's chemical weapons.

Re:Herbicides!? (1)

Swampash (1131503) | about 8 months ago | (#46320487)

"But we were using the chemical weapons against the jungle, not against the people who were IN the jungle. So that means we're still the good guys. U-S-A! U-S-A!"

Just wondering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320283)

Did any Vietnamese people suffer harm from this chemical?

Re:Just wondering (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320893)

Yes, hundreds of thousands to millions of Vietnamese were harmed depending how you count - everythings from terrible birth defects to characteristic cancers.

And, of course, the main use of agent orange in Vietnam was to destroy the farm land so that the peasants would be forced, by starvation, to move to the cities (that happened to be controlled by the USA).

Make them eat it... (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 8 months ago | (#46320285)

They can sprinkle it on their research and make burritos.

vietnamese (4, Informative)

BradMajors (995624) | about 8 months ago | (#46320297)

It is interesting everyone ignores the greater harm agent orange is doing to the Vietnamese servicemen.

Re:vietnamese (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46321825)

Not only the Vietnamese servicemen, but the Vietnamese public at large and a generation of children in particular.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_Orange#Effects_on_the_Vietnamese_people
The focus in the US is on our veteran's mostly because of multibillion dollar lawsuits leading the Department of Veterans Affairs to give tens of thousands of dollars a year to individual veterans who have developed particular disabilities which have a potential relationship to Agent Orange exposure (mainly diabetes and heart disease).

yu0 Fail It?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320785)

the channel to sign world. GNAA members live and a job to a popular 'news

Yes, it becomes an issue to US servicemen (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46321045)

who chose to be there.

Who cares about the Vietnamese people who lived there.... and were exposed through no choice of their own.

Oh the hypocrisy (-1, Flamebait)

macson_g (1551397) | about 8 months ago | (#46321909)

Poor soldiers. I pity them the same as I pity SS-men exposed to trace amounts of Zyklon-B.
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