Monday, June 20, 2016


                              NUMBNUTS NATION #1

Gee, we love our military.   It has more respect than any other institution in the U.S. and takes so much money from the budget that there isn’t enough left over to pay for free college education for all and national health insurance – programs than any civilized nation would have.

But not everyone has a romance with a big agency in the U.S. Department of Warfare.  In 1966, a B-52 bomber on a Cold War nuclear patrol exploded over Spain, releasing four hydrogen bombs. Fifty years later, Air Force veterans involved with the cleanup are sick and want recognition.

“Radiation near the bombs was so high it sent the military’s monitoring equipment off the scales. Troops spent months shoveling toxic dust, wearing little more protection than cotton fatigues. 

“In the decades since, the Air force has purposefully kept radiation test results out the men’s medical files and won’t retest them, even when calls came from the Air force’s own studies.  Many men are suffering with the crippling effects of plutonium poisoning.  Of 40 veterans who helped with the cleanup who the New York Ties identified, 21 had cancer.  Nine died from it.
“Many of the Americans who cleaned up after the bombs are trying to get full health care coverage and disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs. But the department relies on Air Force records, and since the Air Force records say no one was harmed in Palomares, the agency rejects claims again and again.

“The Air Force also denies any harm was done to 500 other veterans who cleaned up a nearly identical crash in Thule, Greenland, in 1968. Those veterans tried to sue the Defense Department in 1995, but the case was dismissed because federal law shields the military from negligence claims by troops. All of the named plaintiffs have since died of cancer.”

Source:  New York Times, By DAVE PHILIPPS JUNE 19, 2016

You’ll pardon me if I puke when I hear politicians and TV folk speak about “how we love our vets.”