A: What we were hearing is that people were going to the VA hospitals with
problems and basically their problems were given short shrift, they were not
taken seriously and either they were believed to have been malingerers and not
have any problems at all or at best that the problems were quote-unquote "in
their head." And then after awhile as more and more veterans reported
illnesses, what we then began to hear was the VA finally saying or the DOD
saying, well, yeah, there is a problem, but the problem is all stress-related.
Yeah, we acknowledge there is a problem, but it's all stress-related and the
truth of the matter is they haven't really moved terribly much from that
position despite the fact that there have been a number of studies that have
been done by very reputable scientists who have pointed out a very strong link
between chemical exposures, peridistigmide bromide, vaccines, and so forth and
so on, but that's a line of inquiry that the VA and the DOD have been very
reluctant to pursue.
Q: Back then what was it about their attitude that bothered you?
A: What bothered me is that from the very beginning, from the very beginning
they either denied that there was a problem, they thought the problem was in
the heads of the veterans -- they did not take the problem seriously rather
than saying, okay, you have a problem veteran -- or thousands of veterans have
a problem, let's try to understand what the cause of that problem is. Let's
develop the most effective treatment that we can for you rather than from the
very beginning what they were saying is there is no problem and they were
saying this not only in terms of the ailments and the symptoms that our
veterans were experiencing, when some people said gee, maybe chemical warfare
agents are a cause of the problem, are tied into the problem. What their
positions was none of our veterans, none of our soldiers were exposed to any
chemical warfare agents, none at all.
And then after people on our committee, people in congress, people outside of
Congress said, you're wrong, you're wrong, they said, oh, yes, oh, yes, a few
hundred soldiers were exposed to chemical warfare agents at Khamisiyah, well,
then the number went from a few hundred to a few thousand and then it went to
20,000 and I think the last estimate that we've heard is that maybe 100,000
soldiers were perhaps exposed. But then they say -- the next reaction is,
well, don't worry, these were just low-level exposures because we know that
unless there is an acute, dramatic response, it's not going to hurt you in the
long run. Scientists disagree with that.
So from the very beginning any acknowledgement of the problem, any
acknowledgement of the cause of the problem that went outside of their
predetermined suppositions was like pulling teeth and that's where they are
today. They really haven't moved much in six years.
Q: Now there are issues of getting services and compensation which -- this
notion of service connectedness. Now how was this made problematic in your
A: Well, obviously if you do not believe that there's a cause -- first of all,
if you believe there is no problem, why are you going to pay out benefits.
Second of all, if there is no cause of the problem, you really don't have to
worry about that in years to come. What some of us believe is that it is
possible that if chemicals are related to Gulf War illness that some of the
more severe symptoms may not erupt until 10 or 20 years down the line. So our
position has got to be, A, there is a problem, it is very likely related to
chemical exposures, and thirdly we have got to give the benefit of the doubt to
the veterans so that those people who were over there who come down with
illnesses in coming years that we think may have been related to their service
in the Gulf War, we have got to make sure that they receive the treatment, get
the compensation that they deserve.
Q: Wouldn't the VA say they were legally required to establish service
connection, that their hands were bound by the law initially, there was no way
they could pay out a benefit if they didn't believe there was a service
A: Well, that's your catch-22 isn't it? I mean we believe -- some of us
believe that there is a connection and we should have given the benefits of the
doubt to the veterans.
Q: What kinds of things were you hearing from veterans about the Dept. of
A: I mean the Dept. of Defense treats those people still in active duty and I
think that their attitude was not terribly different from the VA. The double
problem though that you have with the DOD is that we still have people in the
active duty and if people are feeling ill, if they're experiencing various
symptoms and they're still in the active duty, they're less likely to come
forward because that could result in their medical discharge. So instead of
developing a groundwork and a climate of sympathetic understanding and say,
look, we don't quite know what the problem is, but we have tens and tens of
thousands of people who served there who are hurting, how can we help you, come
forward, you are not going to penalized, you're not going to be financially
punished for coming forward and reporting your symptoms, we want you to report
your symptoms, that certainly has not been the attitude of the DOD.
Q: -- Can you talk a bit about what the DOD position was shortly after the war
and how this changed?
A: The DOD position after the war is there is no problem,. And as more and
more veterans came forward, as the media began to focus on the issue, as
Congress took a look at it, finally what the DOD did say is yes, we are
prepared to acknowledge that some of the people who served over there are ill,
that was their major leap forward, but then their -- when asked why are they
ill, their answer is it is a stress-related illness. We do not believe that
chemicals have played any role. We do not believe the fact that we
administered peridistigmide bromide, which is an experimental anti-nerve gas
agent to hundreds of thousands of veterans, so we gave them vaccines, that they
were exposed to very, very strong pesticides, that they may have been exposed
to chemical warfare agents, we don't think that had any relationship to their
problem at all, but we do think that some of these people may be ill, we think
it's stress-related. That was their major breakthrough and that's pretty
Q: Now, what do you think is really damaged them most politically, the DOD?
A: What's damaged them is their state of denial from day one about the cause of
their problems. What's damaged them is their reluctance to fess up to the fact
that chemicals may well have played a strong role in causing the illness. What
has damaged them is that we have independent researchers all over this country
who are beginning to see the links between chemicals and peridistigmine bromide
and other environmental factors and that the VA and the DOD has kind of brushed
that research aside and not embraced it. What has hurt them is that there are
some scientists around the country, including a few within the VA themselves
who are trying to develop treatment protocols which seem to be having success
and yet they get rejected by the VA and the DOD leadership and be - -they get
So the bottom line is that I believe that members of the United States
Congress, overwhelming majority, members of the -- people in our own country
and certainly the veterans community believe there is a serious problem which
begs for a solution, for an understanding of the cause, which begs out for
effective treatment and the VA and the DOD have not been forthcoming and I
think right now within the veterans community, certainly with the Congress,
there is generally widespread feeling that they have failed their task and it
is time to say, thank you, we have got to go elsewhere, to go to those
researchers and those agencies who are prepared to take a hard look at the role
that chemicals and other environmental factors may have played in the causation
of Gulf War illness.
Q: A lot of criticism of the DOD concerns things they said, that turned out
subsequently to be untrue. Do you feel their was a conscious effort at a
conspiracy or just incompetence?
A: I am not into conspiracy theory and I'm not here to question the patriotism
or the sincerity of the men and women in the VA and the DOD and the leadership.
I think they're trying. But I think that for a variety of reasons they have
not been successful in understanding the cause of the problem or developing a
Let's go back to 1991/1992. The United States had just won a great military
victory, okay, the DOD had performed brilliantly, the number of casualties were
far fewer than anyone had dreamed of. If you were in the DOD, would you be
very excited in exposing the fact that perhaps the severity of injury and
illness is much greater than we had anticipated? The number of casualties that
we ended up having was far greater than we had originally thought. So maybe
the victory was not so great. It was not something you would be terribly
motivated to go forward and say, guess what, wait a second, you know we thought
we got out of that almost clean, almost clear, we didn't, there are 10s of
thousands of our people hurting as a result of the war. You would not be
terribly motivated to do that.
Second of all, to the degree that chemicals may play -- may have played a role
in Gulf War illness that suggests that we were not adequately prepared to deal
with that problem despite the fact that everybody knew that Sadam Hussein had
used those types of weapons in the past.
Thirdly, and very importantly, if in fact it can be shown that the
administering of peridistigmine bromide is an important cause of the problem of
Gulf War illness then the DOD is directly complicit in the problem. This is
then an affirmative action. They gave a drug which may be related in the
causation of the problem.
And fourthly, I think it makes people in the Pentagon kind of nervous to know
that chemical agents and environmental factors could cause so much damage in
terms of what may happen in the future.
So those are some of the reasons.
Q: So you're saying they didn't look very hard?
A: I would say that they were not motivated. If you win a smashing military
victory and you're asked to conclude that maybe the vil -- maybe there were a
lot more damage and injury and casualties than you had originally thought,
you're not terribly well motivated, and you're doubly not motivated if in fact
you administer the peridistigmine bromide as an anti-nerve gas agent and it
turns out that may be part of the problem. You're certainly not terribly
motivated to find the answer.
And lastly, and maybe even most importantly, is the whole role that chemicals
play in making us ill and the whole phenomenon of what some people call
multiple chemical sensitivity is in fact a hotly debated issue today in medical
I have talked to groups of hundreds and hundreds of doctors who treat people
because of chemical illness in the civilian sector. I have also talked to
doctors who think that that whole line of thinking is a fraud and is way off
the wall and these doctors are just money-makers. I happen to believe in the
concept of multiple chemical sensitivity. I think that the synergistic impact
of various chemicals can in fact make you sick whether you're in the civilian
sector or in a military theatre, but that's a controversial area. I think
within the DOD and the VA there are not many of their doctors there, their
scientists who believe in that theory.
Q: But when it comes to issues like the existence of chemicals and what the
alarms tell us and so forth and the issue of logs, was it your position that
there was a conscious -- was it lying or a conscious coverup or is it that it
was a sort of a they weren't looking very hard?
A: There's something very fishy there. We had people before our committee who
were well trained in the detection of low levels and higher levels of chemical
exposure. They were picking this up on very sophisticated machinery, they
were picking it up out in the field, but somehow when they reported back to
higher ups it did not go very far. At the last what one can say is that it
was the position of the higher ups in the military theatre that chemicals were
not used and therefore any reporting of chemical detections or reporting of
alarms that went off must be false because we have already determined that
chemicals were not used so how could it be true.
Q: Congressman, much of what's happened at the hearings has been some very
moving testimony from veterans about a whole range of different things which
they have attributed to service in the Gulf War and I want to be clear with you
as to what you think might be included in Gulf War illnesses. We had, in some
of the early testimony individuals with Lou Gehrig's disease and things like
arthritis and so forth and even some cancers which normally have a long
latency. Is it your position that those are real?
A: I'm not a physician and I can't give a diagnosis of every illness that
occurred. I think, however, hearing the testimony from many of the men and
women who came before us, talking to people over there from my own state of
Vermont and doing some reading on the issue, there is no question in my mind,
none, zero, that tens and tens and thousands of our soldiers are suffering from
a wide range of illnesses which I believe are attributable to their service in
Q: But does this go beyond symptomatology to include things like Lou Gehrig's
disease and cancer?
A: Could it? Again, I'm not a physician and I'm certainly not an expert on on
that illness. Do I think it is possible? Yes, I think it is possible. Am I
going to suggest to you that every illness that somebody is suffering today is
directly attributable to their service, that people don't get ill, that you
don't get ill or I don't get ill? No.
One of the areas that really concerns me is in my own state of Vermont and in
the reports that we're receiving from soldiers who served all over the country
is memory loss. Now memory loss, short term memory loss, long term memory loss
for young healthy men and women should not be occurred to the degree that it is
in the population we are looking at.
So there's no question to my mind that there are a wide range of illnesses
suffered by our veterans, that many of those illnesses are attributable to
their service in the Gulf, what I fear is that if many of these people have
absorbed chemicals in their bodies that the eruption of the illness has not yet
occurred and may occurred later -- may occur later, and one of the things that
concerns me, we heard some testimony about this, is that you may have some
walking time bombs out there and we should be a lot -- doing a lot better job
warning them as to how they might be able to avoid an eruption of one illness
Q: Many veterans claim their wives and family members and even their children
have been affected by their experience at Gulf War. Do you believe this?
A: We have heard testimony from people who it seems to me are not lying, that
their wives and their children are not ill. Now can I sit here and tell you
absolutely and positively that the cause is Gulf War illness? I can't. But I
tell what I would do is I would investigate that absolutely and completely.
And again one of the criticisms of the DOD and the VA is that when they hear
these things, they should be jumping to move in that area and to study that
issue rather than saying, no, we don't think so or do a study, it'll take us 2
or 3 years to get the results.
What some of us want to see is what we call a Manhattan-type project where all
of the resources of the government are brought together to understand in a
short period of time the cause of the problem and the development of the most
effective treatment possible, possible and certainly one of the areas that
needs to pursues -- pursued, is this a contagious disease? Can it be
transmitted sexually? That's a big issue and we have heard testimony that
obviously wives and kids have been made ill. They believe that it's a result
of something transmitted that their husbands picked up in the Gulf. Is it
true? I can't say it is and I can't say it isn't, but what I do think is that
we should investigate this absolutely and presume, and give the veterans and
their families the benefit of the doubt.
Q: I move on to science and to start with the health outcomes that have been
studied by various kinds of groups. There were cluster studies of the first
outbreaks in Indiana and Georgia and I think there have been five blue ribbon
panels that have looked at the issue and there are epidemiological studies in
progress and under way. The consensus as far as I can see from these panels is
we are not dealing with a unique syndrome. Agree or disagree?
A: I think what you're dealing with is a wide variety of symptoms which may
have different causations.
Q: Now the President's Advisory Committee, which has studied this issue for two
years have said among other things that the symptoms you describe, the sort of
diverse symptomatology, such symptoms, number one, are common in the general
population, and they're common in the aftermath of wars and they can be
exacerbated by stress. Now this seems to have been a conclusion which has
caused some hostility.
A: Let me suggest in my own personal opinion that stress is a very important
factor. I mean everybody knows what stress does to people who keel over with
heart attacks or have stomach problems and so forth. There was enormous stress
in the theater in the Persian Gulf. So I have no doubt that stress played a
role and if you combine the role of stress with the peridistigmine bromide with
the other vaccines, with the chemicals that our soldiers were exposed to, I
think stress did play a role.
The reason that I circulated a letter to my colleagues here in the House and
we have something like 85 signers -- is we were upset that essentially the
Presidential Advisory Committee said in our judgement we do not yet see the
evidence that suggests that chemicals, peridistigmine bromide, etc., has played
a role in the causation of these symptoms. We think that the illnesses are
caused primarily by stress.
And that's what we disagreed with. Not to say that stress is not a factor.
Stress certainly in my view is a factor, but to dismiss completely the impact
of peridistigmine bromide, an experimental drug used for this purpose for the
first time and given to several hundred thousand people when we already have
signs of evidence that shows that peridistigmine bromide in combination with
DEET and other pesticides can cause problems with animals, to dismiss all of
that seems to me to be wrong and an area that needs to be pursued.
Q: The PAC studied this issue for two years, they're not part of the DOD or the
VA, they're an independent group as far as I can see. Isn't this a case of you
putting pressure on them to change their conclusions because you didn't like
A: No. It's doing the job that I was elected to do and trying to represent
veterans who are hurting. I think they were wrong. And I think you're
beginning to see a very clear change, as a matter of fact, after that letter
you're beginning to see a number of people on the Committee who are saying,
Well, we think it was wrong to exclude the issue of chemicals from our
conclusion, and in fact, as you know, in their draft release of several months
ago, they were very critical of the DOD in terms of how they looked at the role
that chemicals may have played.
Not to mention that the GAO, the General Accounting Office, thought that if
present trends continued there's no reason to believe that the DOD or the VA
are going to discover the cause of the problem or an effective treatment. So
it's not just members of Congress, but basically, I think that the initial
recognition, conclusion of the PAC, was dead wrong, and what I wanted to show
is that we have many people in the United States Congress who believe that
chemicals played a role and that has got to be considered.
Q: But you're not a scientists and your colleagues in Congress are not usually
scientists, and here's a panel that was charged with looking at this, so, why
not accept their --
A: Well, panels, you know when you get involved in politics, politics is a
funny thing. Some of us actually believe that we come closer to representing
the interests of people who are hurting than committees that are appointed by
other people. Nobody is immune to political pressure and people are appointed
for various reasons.
I think what you are seeing now is a change in the conclusions that members of
the Presidential Advisory Committee have come up with. And while you can say,
correctly, that the Presidential Advisory Committee is independent from the DOD
and the VA, there's no question but that they got an enormous amount of the
information from the VA and the DOD and that they have a working relationship
with them. I think in this whole issue, the Congress in fact, has played a
reasonable role in trying to raise the right issues and demanding that the VA
and the DOD do the right thing.
Q: It's your realm to raise issues and represent the veterans in your
constituents. But the causation issue, the cause and effect of Gulf War
illness is an empirical question that scientists are the ones qualified to
answer and it's not as if, I think, the PAC would say if they were sitting
here, it's not as if they didn't consider depleted uranium, pb pills,
biological weapons, pesticides, insecticide, chemical weapons, in their report.
They review all this literature you mention. So I'll ask you again, they have
said, and I've interviewed them all at length pretty recently, that it is not
their view that these things are likely risk factors or contributing factors to
this disease. Why can't you accept their verdict?
A: I can't accept their verdict because I have also not only talked to some of
those folks, we have also talked and interviewed, and met with scientists who
have done substantial research which suggests otherwise. We think that the
work those scientists have done in connecting the use of pb pills with
pesticides in the causation of illness, is an important step forward and that
type of evidence did not get the kind of consideration that it should have
gotten from the Presidential Advisory Committee.
We think that within the circles of the government, when you have the DOD and
the VA saying something that does have an impact on the members of the
Presidential Advisory Committee, without challenging their sincerity. But I
think that the evidence is out there that there are whole other lines of
research that must be pursued that are not being pursued. To simply conclude
that the environmental factors, it was a chemical cesspool in the Gulf War.
People were given experimental drugs, vaccines, exposed to chemical warfare
agents, exposed to depleted uranium, and to believe that that type of exposure
did not play a role in Gulf War illness seems to me probably not correct.
What we would like to do, I'm not a scientist, but what I would like to see is
far more research be done in those areas. And the bottom line, the bottom
line, if you went to a doctor and you had a variety of symptoms and you were
sick, and after six years of going to that doctor you said, Doc, what's wrong
with me? And the doctor said, John, I don't understand the cause of your
problem and I have no treatment for you. What you would probably say is,
Thanks very much doctor. I'm going someplace else. I think that's the stage
that we're in.
There are scientists, even scientists within the government, and that's why I
fought very hard to get $7 million for the National Institute of Environmental
Health Sciences who do believe that chemicals may have played a role, who want
to vigorously pursue the issue. I am not a scientist, but I think it is insane
that we are not vigorously pursuing areas that some independent scientists have
had good results in, that we are not looking at treatments around the country
where some physicians claim to have some success. It is a difficult issue, and
I'm not here to personally attack anybody, but it seems to me, what common
sense dictates is that the VA and the DOD should have gone wherever they could
to look at the research that wa having some results. Bringing in those people
and saying, How did you get those results? How can we follow up and find out
whether it's true or not? Who was effectively treating? There are some
reports that we hear that there are doctors effectively treating Gulf War
illness. Those doctors should be brought in immediately and seen if they have
something to offer us. That has not been the case.
Q: One final question on that. While I think they would not be adverse to
research on that, I think they considered, they did consider, I asked them
about many of the studies of the people in your letter, and I think it's pretty
clear that they have considered them. They don't actually think very much of
A: Fine. They don't think very much of them. But go out to the veterans
community and go out to the people who are suffering, and speak to them. You
know, science -- I've got news for you, I don't want to hurt your feelings
here, but science is not so different from politics. There are honest people
with very different points of view. And I have people who disagree with me
politically. I don't attack their motives, we just disagree.
In the scientific community there is a hotly debated issue -- whole area of
fierce debate as to the role the chemicals may be playing in making people
sick, and that is true within our civilian sector. It is true in terms of
service in the Gulf War. There are some people who believe very strongly, who
have done research and say, Don't be ridiculous, of course it's a chemical
exposure. There are very reputable, distinguished scientists who say, I see
the same symptoms every day from people who are exposed to chemicals in the
civilian sector as I see treating Gulf War veterans. They say, Of course,
there's no question in my mind. And there are other people who say, All of
these doctors are crazy, they're quacks, there is no science behind them.
There are differences of opinion.
What I'm suggesting is, given the fact that after six years the VA and the DOD
have failed in their particular approach of the problem, it's time to look
elsewhere. And I think there are serious scientists out there who already have
come up with some interesting results. Their work may not be taken seriously
by the Presidential Advisory Committee, that's fine. But they are being taken
seriously by other scientists, by veterans communities, and by those people who
are seeking treatment.
Q: I think you made a very good argument for the importance of investigating
these areas. Let me bring to you some of the arguments I've heard from more
main stream scientists about the dangers of pursuing this. One argument would
say that when politics becomes too involved in something like this you end up
funding junk science.
A: Forty years ago there were doctors who were advertising on television
telling people about the cigarettes that they smoked. They smoked this
particular brand of cigarettes because it tastes better. It's cooler for their
throat. They were physicians who were on television advertising cigarettes.
Thirty years ago there were doctors seriously telling women in this country not
to breast feed their children, that it's just not a womanly thing to do, and
it's bad for your child if you breastfeed. Twenty years ago in this country
there were doctors who were saying there is no relationship between nutrition
and disease. That anybody who would say there's a correlation between a high
fat diet and heart disease is crazy. Is really a fringe person. Now it's
mainstream science. So, in the whole issue, what we're really debating now, is
the role that chemicals may play in making us sick.
We have a multi zillion dollar chemical industry, by the way, who would prefer
not to have serious discussion on that. No pesticides in the food. They're
good for you. Just keep eating them. It's not a problem. No air pollution.
It really doesn't cause any problems on human health, and so forth and so on.
There are other scientists who, for decades, have been saying, Be careful.
There are too many chemicals in our food, in the air, in the drugs that we're
taking. It is debated. There are honest scientists on both sides of the
issue. And what I am suggesting is that there are very reputable, serious
scientists and more and more of them every day are saying, Wait a minute, of
course, when people are exposed to all kinds of these powerful chemicals, when
they take powerful drugs, we can expect various types of symptomatology to
develop. Whether they are right or wrong, let science determine.
I think the case is very clear that the VA and the DOD have not gone out to
those people, or have been very reluctant to acknowledge their work. That
whole area of research has been dismissed. But the bottom line, let me get
back to the bottom line, the bottom line is, if, for six years you went to see
a doctor and you were suffering, and you were hurting, and after six years the
doctor said, "I don't know the cause of your problem and I have no treatment.
But I know that everybody else out there is wrong and we're not going to take
them seriously. You keep coming back to me, although I haven't found the cause
and I can't treat you." I think you would say, "thank you doctor, I'm leaving.
I'm going to somebody else." I think it is time for us to open up our eyes and
to pursue other approaches.
Q: But we have incurable diseases that have nothing to do with the Gulf, and we
know that those areas, like incurable cancer, they attract quacks to them don't
Q: So there's a danger. My question is really, and this has been raised to me,
that some of the projects that have been funded, normally probably wouldn't get
funded. You have a primary care physician, Hyman in Louisiana who was given
$3.2 million taxpayers money and he doesn't have much of a research background.
Is it your position, given the importance of this issue, it should be funded
A: I don't think you say, "Here's some money for you, and here's some money for
you and your very weird theory." What I am suggesting is that, if you have
doctors who look at the problem from a certain approach, who already, in their
own hearts and in their own minds, do not believe that chemicals could play a
role, that when another doctor comes forward and says, "I think that chemicals
may have played a role," they say, "Well that's not serious science." What I
am suggesting is there is a division within the scientific community and you
have honorable and honest people on both sides. And you may well have quacks
and crooks on both sides as well. That's human nature. But to suggest that
there are not serious scientists who are well published, who are peer reviewed,
who are indicating and demonstrating the role the chemicals have played in
making people sick, to dismiss that is to be living in the past. And I have
not the slightest doubt that, 10, 20, 30 years from now that whole area of
science, which is rapidly growing by the way, that more and more physicians and
more and more citizens are believing --
Q: Garth Nicolson has a theory that GWS is caused by an infectious agent called
a mycoplasma. Some concerns have been raised here one, because he is now, he's
not an M.D., and two, because he's saying that people with conditions as severe
as Lou Gehrig's Disease, can be cured by taking antibiotics. Can't you see the
danger in that?
A: Do I see the danger? No. I think --
Q: Of giving false hope?
A: No. It's not a question of false hope. I think what you should do is take
his research and subject it to scientific inquiry by objective people and see
whether he is right or wrong, partially right or partially wrong. I do not
think he should be dismissed. But let me turn the tables, and say to all of
these scientists who tell us that nobody else is doing serious work out there,
what have they discovered after six years? What is their understanding? Oh,
it's an incurable problem. There is no cause for the problem. That's not a
particularly good answer.
Q: So where do we seek closure on this issue? Do we have a long way to go
A: I think we do. Unfortunately. I think after six years. Just compare it to
where we are with AIDS. We know the cause of AIDS, not to compare AIDS with
Gulf War illnesses, totally different illnesses. But if, at this particular
point, after all the government's investment in AIDS research, the people doing
the research were to come back and say "Gee, we don't know how AIDS is caused.
And we have not developed any treatment which helps AIDS victims." People
would say "Gees. Where've we been spending all this money? What have you guys
been doing?" That's not the case. We have had some breakthrough. People with
AIDS are now living longer, more dignified lives. We understand the causation
Serious research is being undertaken today. Gulf War, now let's look at that.
Six years later, where are we? Have we made any breakthroughs? No. Do we
have any theories? Not really. Are we having any effective treatments from
the VA and the VA(?)? No we don't. Why do we continue on this process? There
are people out there who are making some breakthroughs. I think we pursue it.
Am I going to sit here and guaranty you that these people have all the answers?
I certainly am not. All that I am saying is, Listen. Broaden the tent. Bring
in people who are doing research, even if that type of research does not fit
the patterns that some of the VA and the DOD scientists believe is within the