Senate Vet Committee Looks At Anthrax Vaccine

Senate Vet Committee Looks At Anthrax Vaccine

by Barbara Loe Fisher

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 9:30 a.m. in the Dirksen Building, the Senate Committee on Veteran's Affairs will hold an oversight hearing on Persian Gulf War illness research and treatments. The goal of the hearing is to examine current research trends and identify new treatments. Maine physician and anthrax vaccine expert, Meryl Nass, M.D., will be testifying.

Meryl, who is the medical director for the Military and Biodefense Vaccine Project of the National Vaccine Information Center
( and a blogger at, has interviewed and helped many anthrax vaccine victims over the last decade. She is urging that citizens call or write a letter to Senators on the Veterans Affairs Committee listed below and urge that a hearing be held on the mandatory anthrax vaccine program, which has left thousands of soldiers suffering with chronic illness and disability. She says that many of the vaccine injured soldiers need better medical care and disability pensions.

Meryl is also a strong advocate for an end to the mandatory anthrax vaccination of all military personnel. In 2005, NVIC joined with Meryl and veterans groups in an amicus brief filed in a DC federal court lawsuit to stop the Defense Department from forcing soldiers to get anthrax vaccine without their voluntary, informed consent.

Soldiers who refuse to get the highly reactive anthrax vaccine, like Private First Class Leif Hamre, 22, are threatened and punished. According to an article in The Raw Story, Hamre said "The tactics they have used to coerce me into taking the shot are unregulated, unscrupulous and downright un- American," Hamre wrote in a recent open letter to family, friends and others who are campaigning against the military's mandatory anthrax vaccine program. "They have tried to turn my platoon against me in various ways (which is not totally unsuccessful). Along with the more common tactics like intimidation and threats (including the possibility of a forceful inoculation). I can only imagine what will come as I continue with this."

The demonization and persecution of soldiers, who are fighting for the right to exercise informed consent to vaccination in the military, is similar to the demonization and persecution of parents, who are fighting for the right to exercise informed consent to vaccination of their children. Civilian forced vaccination proponents like Paul Offit, Dan Salmon and Arthur Caplan, who advocate mandatory vaccination with every vaccine drug companies produce, are thinking up ways to punish the non-vaccinators. For the crime of refusing vaccination, they are talking about (1) posting the names of non-vaccinators on a public list; (2) prosecuting them; (3) fining them; (4) taxing them. What will be next? Imprisonment?

Perhaps these arrogant, ignorant bullies posing as healers and "ethicists" should take a look back in history to the times when the fine art of pitting citizen against citizen became the basis for branding minorities in society as a threat to the public welfare to justify taking away their civil liberties, then their jobs, then their homes, then their lives.

If the State can tag, track down and force individuals against their will to be injected with biologicals of unknown toxicity today, there will be no limit on which individual freedoms the State can take away in the name of the greater good tomorrow.

Following is a list of members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee:


Daniel K. Akaka, Hawaii

CHAIRMAN: John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia

Patty Murray, Washington

Barack Obama, Illinois

Sherrod Brown, Ohio

Jon Tester, Montana

Jim Webb, Virginia

Bernard Sanders, Vermont (Independent)


Richard Burr, North Carolina

RANKING MEMBER Senator: Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania

Larry Craig, Idaho

Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas

Lindsey Graham, South Carolina

John Ensign, Nevada

Johnny Isakson, Georgia


"According to Hamre, 22, the military gave him an ultimatum in late June: Either take the mandated six- shot anthrax series or face military punishment. He was given 24 hours to decide. After conducting several hours of research into the drug and its history of triggering serious adverse reactions, the Minnesota native concluded that the "vaccine was dangerous" and "should probably still be in a lab right now for further testing." He decided to refuse it..... Hamre's mother, Mary, said that after her son refused the anthrax shot series he was assigned extra duty, taken off missions, significantly dropped in rank and pay scale, and confined to a certain area on the base - all while working an 18-hour work day, seven days a week. Making matters even worse, she said, is the difficulty the family has had in trying to communicate with Leif since he refused the shots. Baghdad remains a volatile and unstable city, and the electricity is still very unreliable, frequently cutting in and out, and is only on for certain portions of the day.....Facing the possibility that he could be permanently dismissed from the military because of his refusal to take the anthrax vaccine has been hard on her son, Mary said, especially since Leif has been proud to serve his country and follow in the footsteps of his father, who also was in the Army. Mary, 55, lives in Minnesota and works as a massage therapist. "They try to break them down..... but someone has got to take a stand," she said." - Julie Weisberg, The Raw Story (September 17, 2007)

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