Index


Gulf War Illnesses: Public and Private Efforts Relating to Exposures of U.S. Personnel to Chemical Agents (Letter Report, 10/15/97, GAO/NSIAD-98-27).


Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the
extent to which federal government agencies and private organizations
are examining; (1) the potential exposure of U.S. military personnel to
chemical warfare agents in the Persian gulf; and (2) the circumstances
surrounding gaps in the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) Desk Log
maintained by the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) during the war.

GAO noted that: (1) as of September 1997, 14 federal and private
organizations had efforts under way examining potential exposure of U.S.
servicemembers to chemical agents and 1 federal organization was
examining gaps in the NBC Desk Log maintained by CENTCOM; (2) relative
to potential exposures to chemical agents, 8 federal and 6 nonfederal
organizations were involved in this effort; (3) concerning gaps in the
NBC Desk Log, officials from DOD's Office of the Special Assistant for
Gulf War Illnesses said that about 200 pages of log entries may have
been produced during the Gulf War; (4) however, thus far, that office
has only been able to locate 37 pages; (5) officials from that office
believe the remaining log pages were destroyed as part of an office
cleanout; (6) nevertheless, the DOD Inspector General's Defense Criminal
Investigative Service has an investigation under way to examine these
gaps; and (7) five veterans' organizations have also been tracking this
log issue as part of their overall efforts to gather data on Gulf War
illnesses. GAO summarized the efforts that various organizations have
under way to address these issues.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-98-27
     TITLE:  Gulf War Illnesses: Public and Private Efforts Relating to 
             Exposures of U.S. Personnel to Chemical Agents
      DATE:  10/15/97
   SUBJECT:  Records disposition
             Armed forces abroad
             Medical research
             Chemical warfare
             Biological warfare
             Medical examinations
             Federal records management
IDENTIFIER:  Persian Gulf War
             DOD Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Program
             Desert Storm
             Gulf War Syndrome
             
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Cover
================================================================ COVER


Report to the Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Veterans'
Affairs, House of Representatives

October 1997

GULF WAR ILLNESSES - PUBLIC AND
PRIVATE EFFORTS RELATING TO
EXPOSURES OF U.S.  PERSONNEL TO
CHEMICAL AGENTS

GAO/NSIAD-98-27

Gulf War Illnesses

(703200)


Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV

  ATSD(IO) - Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Intelligence
     Oversight)
  CENTCOM - U.S.  Central Command
  CIA - Central Intelligence Agency
  DOD - Department of Defense
  NBC - nuclear, biological, and chemical
  OSAGWI - Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses

Letter
=============================================================== LETTER


B-278006

October 15, 1997

The Honorable Lane Evans
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Veterans' Affairs
House of Representatives

Dear Mr.  Evans: 

As you requested, we have developed information related to the
Department of Defense's (DOD) custody and disposition of information
on the possible use of chemical weapons by Iraq during the Persian
Gulf War.  Specifically, this report provides information as of
September 1997 on the extent to which federal government agencies and
private organizations are examining (1) the potential exposure of
U.S.  military personnel to chemical warfare agents in the Persian
Gulf and (2) the circumstances surrounding gaps in the Nuclear,
Biological and Chemical (NBC) Desk Log maintained by the U.S. 
Central Command (CENTCOM) during the war. 


   BACKGROUND
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :1

Approximately 700,000 U.S.  servicemembers served in the Persian Gulf
during some point from August 1990 to June 1991.  According to DOD,
the majority of these personnel returned from the war healthy and
remain fit for duty today.  However, many of these servicemembers are
reporting a wide array of health complaints and disabling conditions,
including fatigue, muscle and joint pain, memory loss, and severe
headaches.  In response to concerns about the servicemembers with
these symptoms and the potential health effects resulting from Gulf
War service, both DOD and the Department of Veterans' Affairs
established programs through which Gulf War veterans could receive
medical examinations and diagnostic services.  Nearly 100,000 of
these servicemembers have participated in clinical evaluation
programs established by these two agencies after the war.  According
to DOD officials, medical research studies with comparison groups of
both deployed and non-deployed Gulf War veterans are designed to
clarify whether certain medical conditions may be more common among
Gulf War veterans.  In addition, DOD and several federal agencies, as
well as a number of private organizations, are studying whether
servicemembers may have been exposed to chemical agents during the
war. 

According to CENTCOM headquarters staff, the Command began
maintaining operational logs upon its arrival in the Persian Gulf on
August 8, 1990, until April 13, 1991, when the last major element of
CENTCOM headquarters left the Persian Gulf, for a total of 249 days. 
The purpose of these logs was to provide a chronological record of
key events that occurred each day.  In addition to the operational
logs, the Command's Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical officer began
maintaining an NBC Desk Log in late August 1990.  We were told that
the NBC Desk Log was maintained on a daily basis except for the
periods at the beginning and the end of the deployment.  The
officials said that it is not known with certainty how many daily
entries were made in the NBC Desk Log. 


   RESULTS IN BRIEF
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :2

As of September 1997, 14 federal and private organizations had
efforts underway examining potential exposure of U.S.  servicemembers
to chemical agents and 1 federal organization was examining gaps in
the NBC Desk Log maintained by the U.S.  Central Command.  Relative
to potential exposures to chemical agents, 8 federal and 6 nonfederal
organizations were involved in this effort.\1 Concerning gaps in the
NBC Desk Log, officials from DOD's Office of the Special Assistant
for Gulf War Illnesses said that about 200 pages of log entries may
have been produced during the Gulf War.  However, thus far, that
office has only been able to locate 37 pages.  Officials from that
office believe the remaining log pages were destroyed as part of an
office clean out.  Nevertheless, the DOD Inspector General's Defense
Criminal Investigative Service has an investigation underway to
examine these gaps.  Five veterans' organizations have also been
tracking this log issue as part of their overall efforts to gather
data on Gulf War illnesses.  Table 1 summarizes the efforts various
organizations have underway to address these issues. 



                                                                                       Table 1
                                                                       
                                                                           Organizations Studying Gulf War
                                                                                      Illnesses

                                             Federal groups\a                                                                  Private groups\a
                  -----------------------------------------------------------------------  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                    Desert
                                     Senate                                                                        Shield/
                                  Veterans'                                CIA PGW                                   Storm                  Northwest       Desert Storm
                                    Affairs       ATSD(I    Army   CIA     Illness    DOD  National Gulf War   Association                   Vets for            Justice
Issues            OSAGWI  PAC     Committee  GAO      O)      IG    IG  Task Force     IG    Resource Center            \b   VetCenter          Peace         Foundation   GulfWatch
----------------  ------  ---  ------------  ---  ------  ------  ----  ----------  -----  -----------------  ------------  ----------  -------------  -----------------  ----------
Identifying                                                                                                              X
 chemical
 exposure
 incidents
Identifying            X    X             X    X       X       X     X           X                         X                         X              X                  X           X
 incidents in
 which U.S.
 personnel were
 exposed
Examining              X    X             X    X       X       X     X                                     X                         X                                 X           X
 methods for
 identifying and
 reporting such
 incidents
Disclosing             X    X                  X                     X           X                         X                         X              X                  X           X
 chemical
 exposure
 incidents to
 the public
Complying with
 laws governing
 classified
 information
Analyzing laws              X             X                                                                              X           X
 governing the
 handling of
 classified
 information
Assessing                                 X                                             X                                X           X
 responsibility
 for any legal
 violations
Custody of
 information
Examining the          X    X             X                                                                X                         X                                 X           X
 custody of
 information
 concerning
 chemical
 weapons
Assessing                   X             X                                                                X                                                           X           X
 changes to
 improve the
 custody
Investigating                                                                                                            X
 gaps in
 chemical logs
Disclosing                                     X                                        X                                                                              X           X
 CENTCOM
 procedures in
 place to record
 incidents in
 NBC logs
Identifying                                                                                                X                         X                                 X           X
 instances of
 noncompliance
 with procedures
Determining                                                                                                X                                                           X           X
 changes for
 reporting NBC
 incidents
Contacting             X                       X                                        X                  X                         X                                 X           X
 personnel
 responsible for
 maintaining
 records on
 chemical weapon
 incidents
Analyzing                                                                               X                                                                              X           X
 procedures for
 archiving
 information on
 possible
 exposure to
 chemical agents
Identifying                                                                                                X                                                           X           X
 lessons learned
 for reporting
 and archiving
 information on
 chemical
 incidents
Reconstructing                                                                                             X                         X                                 X           X
 gaps in
 chemical
 incident
 reporting
Expected           TBD\c  10/          3/98  TBD     TBD   10/97   10/         TBD    TBD                TBD         N/A\d         TBD            TBD                TBD         TBD
 Reporting Date            97                                       97
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note:  OSAGWI, Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War
Illnesses; PAC, Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans'
Illnesses; GAO, General Accounting Office; ATSD(IO), Assistant to the
Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight; IG, Inspector
General; CIA, Central Intelligence Agency; PGW, Persian Gulf War;
CENTCOM, U.S.  Central Command; NBC, nuclear, biological, and
chemical. 

\a The level of effort among the various groups studying Gulf War
illnesses issues varies.  Federal organizations, for the most part,
have studies or investigations of these issues.  For the most part,
veterans groups are collecting and analyzing information, making
Freedom of Information Act requests, and collecting media information
in their role of keeping veterans informed of pertinent developments. 

\b The Association did not provide detailed information on the
specific issues it was reviewing. 

\c To be determined. 

\d The Association does not plan to issue a report. 


--------------------
\1 Numerous other federal and private organizations have conducted
medical research into the potential causes of the symptoms being
reported by Gulf War Veterans.  Many of these organizations are
identified in our report entitled Gulf War Illnesses:  Improved
Monitoring of Clinical Progress and Reexamination of Research
Emphasis Are Needed (GAO/NSIAD-97-163, June 23, 1997). 


   EXAMINATIONS OF THE POTENTIAL
   EXPOSURE OF U.S.  SERVICE
   PERSONNEL TO CHEMICAL WARFARE
   AGENTS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

Eight federal entities and six veterans organizations have been
involved in examining the potential exposure of U.S.  service
personnel to chemical warfare agents.  In the federal sector,
examinations are underway by DOD's Office of the Special Assistant
for Gulf War Illnesses, the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for
Intelligence Oversight, the U.S.  Army Inspector General, and
Director of the Central Intelligence's Persian Gulf War Illnesses
Task Force.  Some of the activities of these federal organizations
are being monitored by four additional organizations:  the
Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses, the
Central Intelligence Agency Inspector General, the Senate Committee
on Veterans' Affairs Investigative Team, and the General Accounting
Office.  Some of these efforts are scheduled to be completed in 1997
while others will take longer.  The efforts included reviews of
records maintained during the Gulf War to identify potential chemical
exposure incidents; evaluations of the adequacy of the federal
government's response to information on potential exposures to
chemical agents, assessments of the models being used for studies of
chemical incidents, and evaluations of any reported differences in
exposures and illnesses between U.S.  and other allied forces that
participated in the Gulf War. 

Of the 26 organizations representing veterans we contacted, 6 veteran
organizations were conducting examinations as a part of their efforts
to represent the best interests of veterans.  As such, these
examinations are done on a continuing basis with no established
completion dates and generally include the collection and analysis of
information from a variety of sources such as contacts with
individual Gulf War veterans experiencing health problems, Freedom of
Information Act requests made to DOD agencies from other
organizations, and media information on the exposure of veterans to
chemical weapons. 


   EXAMINATIONS RELATED TO GAPS IN
   CENTCOM'S NBC DESK LOG
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

In March 1997, the DOD Inspector General's Defense Criminal
Investigative Service was tasked by the Deputy Secretary of Defense
to lead the effort to determine the circumstances related to gaps in
CENTCOM's NBC Desk Log.  The Service was directed to follow all leads
that can be developed on the location of the original log or copies
of it.  If the Service cannot locate a full copy of the log, it was
expected to determine the reasons.  The Service's study had not yet
been completed, and the DOD Inspector General declined to comment on
the details of this investigation to avoid jeopardizing the
investigative effort and protect the privacy of the parties involved. 

DOD's Army Inspector General and the Office of the Special Assistant
for Gulf War Illnesses (OSAGWI) began efforts to determine the status
of the log but discontinued their work once the Defense Criminal
Investigative Service took responsibility for this matter.  Five
veterans organizations are also examining gaps in the NBC Desk Log as
part of their overall efforts to gather Gulf War illness information. 

To date, OSAGWI has located 37 pages of the NBC Desk Log covering 26
nonconsecutive days from January 17, 1991, through March 12, 1991. 
OSAGWI officials said that it is not known with certainty how many
daily entries were made in the NBC Desk Log.  OSAGWI officials stated
that, in their opinion, about 200 pages of log entries might have
been prepared.  Thus, DOD has a hard copy of less than 20 percent of
the log pages that may have been prepared to record reported nuclear,
biological, or chemical events occurring during the Gulf War.  Based
on discussions with CENTCOM officials, OSAGWI officials believe that
the remaining pages might have been destroyed as part of an office
clean out. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

We obtained oral comments on a draft of this report from DOD and the
federal and private groups that provided information contained in the
report.  While DOD concurred with our findings, it provided several
technical comments, including that we clarify DOD's position on the
number of Gulf War veterans experiencing health problems and on the
maintenance and disposition of NBC Desk Log pages.  We revised the
draft to reflect DOD's comments.  The groups also provided technical
comments which we incorporated as appropriate. 


   SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :6

To develop a list of examinations of possible exposures to chemical
agents and gaps in CENTCOM's NBC Desk Log as well as obtain
information on each examination's objectives and scope, we focused
our search for ongoing examinations on three types of organizations
located in the United States:  federal entities, research
organizations such as RAND, and veterans organizations.  We did not
attempt to evaluate the quality or cost of the examinations being
conducted or to identify gaps in or duplication of, efforts among the
examinations.  To avoid jeopardizing the Defense Criminal
Investigative Service's ongoing investigation related to the NBC Desk
Log, we limited our examination to general discussions with Service
personnel on the objectives of their investigation. 

We searched Internet databases, contacted organizations with highly
publicized efforts, and asked their representatives about other
organizations potentially doing examinations. 

We obtained information from the following 18 federal entities about
their efforts, if any, in conducting examinations:  the Presidential
Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; DOD's Office of
the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses; the Senate Committee on
Veterans' Affairs; the General Accounting Office; the Department of
Veterans Affairs; the Department of Health and Human Services; the
Central Intelligence Agency Persian Gulf War Illness Task Force; the
Defense Intelligence Agency Persian Gulf Focus Group; the Assistant
to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Oversight; the
Institute of Medicine; and the Gulf War Illness Directorate of the
National Security Council.  We also contacted the Inspector General
offices at the Departments of Defense, the Army, Navy, and the Air
Force; the Marine Corps; the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and the Central
Intelligence Agency to determine if they were performing active
examinations or other activities.  In addition, we contacted the
United Nations Special Commission on Iraq, which has been conducting
on-site investigations of Iraq's chemical and biological
capabilities. 

We also contacted 10 research organizations that have previously done
analyses of defense policy and national security issues to determine
whether they had any efforts in the two areas of interest.  We
contacted the MITRE Corporation; the American Enterprise Institute;
the Brookings Institution; the Army War College Strategic Studies
Institute; the Cato Institute; the Center for Defense Information;
the Center for National Policy; the Center for Strategic and
International Studies; the Heritage Foundation; and the RAND
Corporation. 

To identify veterans organizations examining chemical exposures and
the gaps in the NBC Desk Log, we searched several Internet databases,
obtained a list of national veterans' service organizations from the
Department of Veterans' Affairs, and identified additional veterans
organizations by asking representatives of organizations we contacted
about other organizations that might be doing examinations.  We also
asked officials in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the
military services, the DOD legislative liaison offices, and defense
agencies that administer Freedom of Information Act requests to
identify organizations receiving documents pertinent to these topics
under the act.  We subsequently contacted 26 veterans organizations
that we identified and inquired about any examinations that they were
conducting regarding the possible exposure of personnel to chemical
weapons and/or gaps in CENTCOM's the NBC Desk Log. 

We conducted our work from May to September 1997. 


---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :6.1

As agreed with your staff, unless you publicly announce this report's
contents earlier, we plan no further distribution until 7 days after
its issue date.  At that time, we will send copies of this report to
the Chairman, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Chairmen and
Ranking Minority Members, Senate and House Committees on
Appropriations; the Secretaries of Defense, the Army, the Navy, and
the Air Force; and the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Copies will
also be made available to others on request. 

Please contact me at (202) 512-5140 if you or your staff have any
questions concerning this report.  Major contributors to this report
are listed in appendix II. 

Sincerely yours,

Mark E.  Gebicke
Director, Military Operations
 and Capabilities Issues


EXAMINATIONS OF EXPOSURE OF U.S. 
PERSONNEL TO CHEMICAL WARFARE
AGENTS DURING THE GULF WAR AND
GAPS IN CENTCOM'S NBC DESK LOG
=========================================================== Appendix I

A total of 15 federal and private organizations were examining the
potential exposure of U.S.  personnel to chemical or biological
warfare agents and the gaps in U.S.  Central Command's (CENTCOM)
Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) Desk Log.  The objectives,
methodology, and completion dates for each examination are described
below. 


   EXAMINATIONS CONDUCTED BY
   FEDERAL ENTITIES
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1

Nine federal entities had efforts underway either involving the
potential exposure of U.S.  personnel and/or were examining gaps in
CENTCOM's NBC Desk Log.  Two of these organizations (the Office of
the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses and the Senate Veterans'
Affairs Committee) were examining both issues. 


      OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL
      ASSISTANT FOR GULF WAR
      ILLNESSES
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1.1

The Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses was
established by the Deputy Secretary of Defense in November 1996.  The
Office's mission is to ensure that (1) Gulf War veterans are
appropriately cared for, (2) the Department of Defense (DOD) is doing
everything possible to understand and explain Gulf War illnesses, and
(3) DOD puts into place all required military doctrine and personnel
and medical policies and procedures to minimize any future problem
from exposure to biological and chemical agents and other
environmental hazards.  As the scope of the Office's tasks became
more defined and the amount and complexity of work increased, the
Office's original staff of 20 employees was increased to its present
level of 190.  The 190 staff members consist of 18 DOD
servicemembers, 9 DOD civilians, and 163 contractor personnel. 
Almost one-half of the staff members are part of the Investigation
and Analysis Directorate, whose mission is to identify what happened
before, during, and after the Gulf War as it relates to various
potential causes of illnesses and to potential future force impacts. 
The remainder provide administrative, analytic, and automation
support; technical management and administration of the website
GulfLINK; database and security management; public affairs services;
document control and archiving; support to the Presidential Advisory
Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; legal services,
legislative affairs, veterans liaison, and health and medical
benefits support; correspondence and electronic mail response
services; and notification of potential exposure mailings. 

The Office is, among other things, encouraging veterans to
participate in DOD's Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Program and
the Department of Veterans' Affairs Gulf War Registry Examination
Program.  To satisfy its other missions, the Office receives
information on potential exposure incidents from a variety of
sources, including the military services, the intelligence community,
and unified commands such as CENTCOM and the Special Operations
Command.  The Office also conducts searches of archives and record
depositories and conducts interviews with subject matter experts,
military and civilian officials, and veterans.  The Office
participates in government interagency deliberations and oversight of
government research of Gulf War illnesses to ensure information
sharing and coordination of activities across the executive branch. 
We did not evaluate the effectiveness of this activity. 

At the time we completed our fieldwork, the Office was examining 44
incidents.  Of these incidents, 22 involved potential exposures to
chemical and biological warfare agents, and 22 concerned potential
environmental and occupational exposures and medical issues relating
to immunizations, preventive drug treatment, stress, infectious
agents, and other potential causes of illness.  The Office has issued
10 reports--8 case narratives, 1 information paper, and 1 status
report.  Of the eight narratives, five are associated with potential
chemical exposures at the Khamisiyah ammunition site in Iraq, the
port of Al Jubayl in Saudi Arabia, and Camp Kuwait.  The other
narratives discuss the analysis of a piece of metal alleged to be
from a Scud missile, Marine Corps' forces movement through minefields
on the Iraqi border, and suspected exposure of a veteran to a mustard
agent.  The information paper deals with the capabilities and
performance of the Fox chemical and biological agent detection
vehicle.  A status report was provided to the DOD Inspector General
that discusses the generation, transportation, storage, and
disposition of CENTCOM's NBC Desk Log.  The Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) and the Institute for Defense Analysis have issued
companion reports to the Office's case narratives on the Khamisiyah
incident. 

The Office views case narratives as interim reports that contain
information about the incidents.  The narratives are not final
products; as the Office receives additional information on an
incident, it intends to refine the respective narratives.  As an
example of its ongoing investigative process, the Office has issued
two separate versions of its case narrative on the Khamisiyah
incident in February and July 1997.  During April, the February
narrative was refined to facilitate retrieval of supporting documents
through GulfLINK.  Work is still underway, and there is no scheduled
completion date for the Office's operations. 


      PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORY
      COMMITTEE ON GULF WAR
      VETERANS' ILLNESSES
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1.2

In December 1996, the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War
Veterans' Illnesses issued its final report, culminating 16 months of
work.\1 The Committee's study covered a wide range of Gulf War
illness issues, including medical care being provided to veterans of
the Gulf War; chemical and biological warfare agent examinations; and
coordination of research programs for Gulf War illnesses among
government agencies.  In January 1997, the President extended the
duration of the Committee for an additional 10 months.  One of the
two principal roles assigned to the Committee at that time was to
oversee the ongoing Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War
Illnesses (OSAGWI) examination into possible chemical or biological
warfare agent exposures during the Gulf War.  In February 1997, the
President tasked the Committee to evaluate the adequacy of the
government's response to the implications of recently declassified
documents associated with chemical munitions at the Khamisiyah
storage depot.  Specifically, the President asked the Committee to
concentrate on (1) when the U.  S.  intelligence and military
communities knew that chemical munitions were present at Khamisiyah
and that U.S.  forces may have been exposed to chemical agents and
(2) whether the government's response was sufficient once this
information was known. 

The Committee issued its Supplemental Letter Report in April 1997. 
The letter report reiterated a conclusion made in the final report
that the evidence of a chemical agent release at Khamisiyah was
overwhelming.  The letter report also stated that (1) substantial
mismanagement and lack of communication among elements of the
military and intelligence committees existed, (2) evidence existed
before the initiation of war fighting that constituted reasonable
cause for concern that Khamisiyah was an ammunition storage facility
that contained chemical munitions, (3) executive branch departments
and agencies made no serious effort to examine the possibility of
chemical warfare agent exposure to U.S.  troops at Khamisiyah until
late 1995, and (4) DOD's consistent denials until June 1996 of the
possibility of exposure of U.S.  troops to chemical warfare agents
cannot be justified. 

Regarding its oversight of OSAGWI's examination into possible
chemical or biological warfare agent exposures during the Persian
Gulf War, the Committee's supplemental letter report addressed three
issues:  (1) the modeling used for plume analysis of chemical agents
and other debris released into the atmosphere after destruction of
the Khamisiyah ammunition storage area, (2) the Committee's access to
information held by DOD, and (3) standards for evaluating detection
or exposure incidents.  In its April 1997 Supplemental Letter Report,
the Committee stated that there were no insurmountable obstacles to
completing the modeling for the Khamisiyah site and barriers raised
to date by CIA and DOD did not warrant continued delays in completing
this project. 

The letter report also criticized the criteria used by OSAGWI for
determining the credibility of reported detection or exposure
incidents, stating that OSAGWI used an inappropriately high standard
of proof for these matters.  The Committee stated that DOD should
move quickly toward making conclusions about the incidents under
examination. 

Since the time of its extension, the Committee has convened public
hearings in Salt Lake City, Utah; Charleston, South Carolina;
Memphis, Tennessee; Buffalo, New York; and Alexandria, Virginia.  The
Committee's final report is due to the President in October 1997. 


--------------------
\1 Final Report:  Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War
Veterans' Illnesses (December 31, 1996).  We reviewed the work of the
Committee in a recent report:  Gulf War Illnesses:  Improved
Monitoring of Clinical Progress and Reexamination of Research
Emphasis Are Needed (GAO/NSIAD-97-163, June 23, 1997). 


      SENATE COMMITTEE ON
      VETERANS' AFFAIRS SPECIAL
      INVESTIGATIVE UNIT ON
      PERSIAN GULF WAR ILLNESSES
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1.3

The Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, created its Special
Investigative Unit in February 1997.  The Unit's work is focusing on
three major areas:  (1) DOD and other agency actions taken before,
during, and after the Gulf War that may relate to the current health
problems of Gulf War veterans; (2) Department of Veterans' Affairs
compensation, claims processing, and health treatment issues; and (3)
review of current scientific research, environmental risks, treatment
options, and potential preventive actions connected with veterans'
health. 

The Unit is assessing such efforts as the adequacy of DOD's
preparedness for and intelligence on Iraqi nuclear, biological, and
chemical warfare capabilities; the models being used for plume
analyses of potential chemical exposures incidents, such as the
destruction of the Khamisiyah storage facility; and its
record-keeping activities during and after the Gulf War, including
chemical weapons logs and medical records.  In carrying out these
tasks, the Unit is assessing the efforts of DOD, the Department of
Veterans' Affairs, the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War
Veterans' Illnesses, and others. 

The Unit has about 20 full-time personnel, including detailees from
other federal agencies, as well as a number of consultants.  The Unit
expects to complete its work and issue a Committee report in March
1998. 


      GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1.4

Including this report, we have issued six reports since 1995 on DOD's
ability to protect and treat its forces from chemical and biological
agents and operate its facilities should they become contaminated by
agents.\2 In March 1996, we reported that DOD's emphasis given to
chemical and biological defense matters was insufficient to correct
problems that surfaced during the Gulf War.  We reported that
equipment, training, and medical shortcomings persisted and were
likely to result in needless casualties and a degradation of U.S. 
war-fighting capabilities.  In May 1997, we reported that while DOD's
medical surveillance capabilities had improved somewhat since the
Gulf War, DOD continued to experience problems in the Bosnia
deployment.  Specifically, DOD had not (1) established an accurate
system to track all personnel who deployed, (2) given required
postdeployment medical assessments to all personnel, and (3)
maintained accurate medical records to identify medical visits during
deployment and documentation of personnel receiving the tick-borne
encephalitis vaccine.  We have also issued three classified reports
involving chemical and biological agent defense. 

Besides our completed work, we recently began two efforts involving
potential exposures of personnel to chemical and other agents during
the Gulf War that may be contributing to Gulf War illnesses.  In one
effort, we are evaluating the experiences of allied forces that
participated in the Gulf War and their reported incidence of
illnesses, if any.  In the second effort, we are evaluating the
adequacy of current U.S.  policies, procedures, and technologies to
(1) defend against single, repeated, or sustained exposure to low
levels of chemical warfare agents and (2) identify, prepare for, and
defend against the possible adverse effects of chemical warfare agent
exposure in combination with other compounds found on the
battlefield.  We have not established a timefame for completing this
work. 


--------------------
\2 In addition to this report, also see Chemical and Biological
Defense:  Emphasis Remains Insufficient to Resolve Continuing
Problems (GAO/NSIAD-96-103, Mar.  29, 1996); Defense Health Care: 
Medical Surveillance Improved Since Gulf War, but Mixed Results in
Bosnia (GAO/NSIAD-97-136, May 13, 1997); and three classified reports
on the defense of Korea, biological agent defense, and protection of
critical ports and airfields. 


      ASSISTANT TO THE SECRETARY
      OF DEFENSE FOR INTELLIGENCE
      OVERSIGHT
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1.5

In September 1996, the Deputy Secretary of Defense directed the
Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight to
(1) investigate what information concerning Khamisiyah and similar
chemical warfare sites in Iraq was available to DOD prior to the
destruction of the Khamisiyah facility by U.S.  forces, (2) ascertain
what DOD did with that information, and (3) determine whether any
procedure for handling such information should be changed. 

Because of the large number of documents relevant to the examination,
DOD awarded a $2.5 million contract to the MITRE Corporation in
December 1996 to organize and analyze the documents and produce an
independent study.  The purpose of the study was to determine what
information concerning Iraqi chemical warfare weapons, doctrine,
units, sites, intentions, uses, and events was known or not known
within DOD and how the information was used or not used during the
period from the Iraq invasion of Kuwait to the withdrawal of all
forces from Iraq and Kuwait. 

MITRE staff are reviewing millions of documents at all security
classifications from several government sources, including the
Defense Intelligence Agency; National Security Agency; Departments of
State, the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force; CIA; DOD's Gulf War
Declassification Project; and CENTCOM.  In addition, MITRE conducted
about 30 interviews with individuals from DOD and the national
security and intelligence communities to obtain information.  MITRE's
final report will be classified.  A final report will be provided to
the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight,
who will then provide it and his own findings and recommendations to
the Deputy Secretary of Defense. 


      ARMY INSPECTOR GENERAL
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1.6

In September 1996, the Secretary of the Army directed the Army
Inspector General to determine the facts surrounding the demolition
of ammunition at Khamisiyah, Iraq in March 1991 by U.S.  Army forces. 
The Inspector General's inquiry was to focus on whether (1) the
presence of chemical munitions was detected at the time the
ammunition was destroyed, (2) such information was reported, and to
what level, and (3) appropriate force protection measures were taken
during demolition operations. 

In October 1996, the Secretary of the Army issued a supplemental
directive to the Army Inspector General.  The Inspector General was
directed to determine (1) the weapons that were destroyed; (2) the
personnel who participated in the destruction; (3) the potential
exposure of those personnel to chemical agents; (4) other personnel
who may have been exposed to chemical agents due to the possible
chemical agent release, considering applicable weather patterns at
the time; (5) any other significant events pertaining to this
incident; and (6) whether similar operations were conducted
elsewhere. 

For the inquiry, a team of four Army Inspector General officers
gathered information and documents from the Gulf War Declassification
Project (on intelligence, health policy, and operations); the
Investigation and Analysis Directorate, Office of the Special
Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses; various Army commands and agencies;
CIA; the Defense Intelligence Agency; and individual soldiers,
veterans, and civilians.  The team collected over 2,000 documents,
300 photographs, 4 video tapes, and 1 audio tape.  In addition, the
team conducted approximately 700 interviews with active duty
servicemembers, veterans, retirees, and civilians.  About one-half of
the interviews were sworn and recorded.  The remainder were
documented with memoranda for the record. 

The Army Inspector General team has completed the inquiry and is
currently in the final stages of writing the report, analyzing and
cross-referencing available data, and coordinating possible results
and conclusions with the appropriate agencies and individuals.  It is
anticipated that a report will be approved for release in October
1997. 


      CIA INSPECTOR GENERAL
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1.7

In October 1996, the Director of Central Intelligence requested that
the CIA Inspector General assess the allegations made by two former
CIA employees concerning the handling of information about the
possible exposure of U.S.  forces to chemical weapons during the
Persian Gulf War.  The allegations were that (1) the CIA had hidden,
and continues to hide, evidence of the exposure of U.S.  forces to
chemical weapons during the Gulf War; (2) CIA officials tried to
hinder the former employees' inquiry about this exposure; (3) CIA
employees avoided reviewing the evidence uncovered concerning the
exposure; and (4) the careers of the two former employees were
effectively destroyed because of their insistence on pursuing an
inquiry about the exposure of U.S.  forces to chemical weapons during
the Gulf War.  The allegation that CIA hid information related to
Gulf War Illnesses was based on three specific concerns:  (1) that
the CIA was not releasing relevant documents in a timely fashion, (2)
that CIA managers had directed the removal of documents from an
Internet website on Gulf War illnesses run by DOD, and (3) that the
CIA had not provided one of the former employees with documents
requested under the Freedom of Information Act. 

In addition, in February 1997, the President asked the Presidential
Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses to address several
questions regarding the Khamisiyah ammunition storage depot.  As a
result of the President's directive to the Committee to take full
account of evidence disclosed by the CIA Inspector General's ongoing
review, a CIA Inspector General assessment team specifically focused
on CIA's handling of information related to Khamisiyah in order to
contribute to resolution of the President's questions. 

A nine-person assessment team has reviewed over 6,000 documents and
interviewed over 175 individuals.  As of September 1, 1997, two draft
reports, one concerning the allegations of the two former employees
and another on the handling of information related to Khamisiyah, had
been distributed to CIA components so that they may provide comments. 
Final reports are expected to be issued by October 31, 1997. 


      DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL
      INTELLIGENCE PERSIAN GULF
      WAR ILLNESSES TASK FORCE
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1.8

The Task Force, established in February 1997 by the Acting Director
of Central Intelligence, was chartered to provide intelligence
support to the various U.S.  government entities that are examining
Gulf War illnesses.  The Task Force staff of 50 personnel are from
the intelligence community--the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency,
the National Security Agency, the National Imagery and Mapping
Agency, and DOD's Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War
Illnesses.  As the Task Force completed some of its initial efforts,
many intelligence community personnel returned to their respective
components; however, they continue to be principal points of contact
to the Task Force for specific issues.  The Task Force is now
composed of personnel from CIA, the National Imagery and Mapping
Agency, and the Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War
Illnesses.  Responsibilities of the Task Force include (1) reviewing
previous search criteria and conducting additional searches as
required; (2) managing and accelerating current and ongoing document
declassification efforts; (3) ensuring that DOD and others can
retrieve related classified information quickly; (4) supporting
ongoing CIA modeling efforts; (5) providing analyses of relevant
information; and (6) developing a comprehensive strategy for
communications with DOD, the National Security Council, the
Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses,
appropriate congressional committees, the media, and the public. 

According to the Special Assistant to the Director of Central
Intelligence for Persian Gulf War Illnesses Issues, to meet its
responsibilities, the Task Force has reviewed previous search
criteria on Gulf War illnesses, conducted broader searches, and
ensured that classified material was passed to DOD and others.  The
broader approach was designed, in part, to discover any evidence
about the potential exposure of U.S.  forces to chemical weapons and
other hazards.  The Task Force's search efforts captured over 1
million documents.  The Task Force used an analytical team to prepare
three public papers:  Khamisiyah:  A Historical Perspective on
Related Intelligence, April 1997;" Update on Potential Mustard Agent
Release at Ukhaydir Ammunition Storage Depot, September 1997; and
Modeling the Chemical Warfare Agent Release at the Khamisiyah Pit,
September 1997. 

In its April 1997 paper, the Task Force focused on determining what
the intelligence community knew about Iraqi storage of chemical
weapons, particularly the storage of such weapons at the Khamisiyah
ammunition site.  Questions pursued included (1) what and when did
the intelligence community know about the possibility of chemical
weapons at this site and (2) what did the intelligence community, and
when, do internally and externally, with the information collected
and analyzed.  Its paper provides details about the intelligence
community's knowledge of Khamisiyah before, during, and after the
war.  Key issues include problems with multiple databases; limited
sharing of sensitive, but vital, information; and incomplete searches
of files while preparing lists of known or suspected chemical warfare
facilities.  The Task Force is also conducting analyses related to
potential causes of Gulf War illnesses, including biological,
chemical, radiological, environmental factors, and foreign-reported
illnesses. 

The Task Force has been working with DOD to produce the
plume-modeling results.  The Task Force was expected to complete its
work by April 1997; however, as of October 1997, its work was still
ongoing. 


      DOD INSPECTOR GENERAL
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1.9

In its efforts to identify the causes of a number of illnesses being
suffered by Gulf War veterans, the Office of the Special Assistant
for Gulf War Illnesses learned that not all of the pages of the NBC
Desk Log maintained in CENTCOM's J-3 Operations Center during the war
could be found.  The Office has located 37 pages of the log, covering
26 nonconsecutive days of operations from January 17 to March 12,
1991.  DOD estimated that approximately 200 pages of the log could be
expected to exist.  Thus, DOD has paper copies of only a small
portion (less than 20 percent) of the pages of the Central Command
NBC Desk Log that could have been generated during the Gulf War. 

On March 3, 1997, the Deputy Secretary of Defense directed the DOD
Inspector General to take over this inquiry and carry it to
conclusion.  Specifically, the Deputy Secretary directed the
Inspector General's office to follow all leads that could be
developed on the location of the original log or copies, in either
electronic or hard copy versions, and gather all originals and copies
that can be located.  If a full copy of the log cannot be located,
the Inspector General is to explain why. 

The Defense Criminal Investigative Service of DOD's Inspector
General's office is currently examining this issue.  The examination
is being directed by headquarters staff, and the examination team
consists of senior investigators supported by a staff of auditors and
investigative support personnel.  The team's efforts generally
included collecting and analyzing the investigative record created by
the Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses, including
numerous transcribed interviews with watch officers assigned to man
the headquarters NBC Desk during the war; interviews of other persons
who may have had access to the log after the war; and many telephone
and written requests for information from sources throughout DOD. 
The team also conducted over 185 interviews with available witnesses
who were involved in the creation of the CENTCOM NBC Desk Log in
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and those in possession of the log at CENTCOM
in Tampa, Florida, after the conclusion of the Gulf War.  The team
also reviewed over 700,000 pages of documents at the National
Archives, 22,000 pages at CENTCOM, and over 100 computer disks. 

This effort was designated as the Defense Criminal Investigative
Service's top priority and was to be completed as quickly as possible
without sacrificing the thoroughness of the examination. 


   EXAMINATIONS CONDUCTED BY
   VETERANS ORGANIZATIONS
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:2

We identified six veterans organizations that were reviewing issues
relating to the exposure of U.S.  military personnel to chemical
agents or gaps in CENTCOM's NBC Desk Log.  Five groups were reviewing
both issues.  While the federal organizations have performed
extensive studies or inquires, the veterans organizations for the
most part are collecting and analyzing information, making Freedom of
Information Act requests, and collecting media information in their
role of keeping veterans informed of pertinent developments. 


      NATIONAL GULF WAR RESOURCE
      CENTER, INC. 
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:2.1

In 1995, the National Gulf War Resource Center, a nonprofit
organization located in Washington, D.C., was founded to support the
efforts of 24 grass roots Gulf War veterans organizations in the
United States and Great Britain working to assist veterans affected
by the war.  The Center serves as a clearinghouse receiving
information from veterans; the Center's member and veteran service
organizations; government agencies; and the media.  It then
disseminates the information to member organizations and interested
groups to assist them in their efforts to assist veterans. 

Starting in 1995, the Center began researching and documenting
chemical warfare agent detection, exposure, and injury incidents
during the Gulf War as well as the issue of the missing, misplaced,
or destroyed chemical logs.  The Center's objectives are to locate,
obtain, and review documents, such as chemical logs, relevant to the
exposure of U.S.  service personnel to chemical warfare agents.  This
work was intended to provide Gulf War veterans with evidence of
chemical agent exposure, if any, so that they could obtain
appropriate health care and compensation and offer suggestions on how
to improve chemical warfare agent detection and protection. 

To achieve these objectives, the Center receives eyewitness accounts
from veterans to determine which units may have been exposed to
chemical warfare agents and then sends requests for relevant
documentation under the Freedom of Information Act to the appropriate
commands and units.  In addition, the Center reviews other
documentation obtained from Congress, the media, DOD, and other
sources to obtain additional information about potential exposures
and the location of relevant corroborating documentation. 

According to a representative of the Center, its work has resulted in
the public release of previously classified information that
contradicted information previously released by DOD.  The
representative also said that, as a result of the Center's work, (1)
DOD confirmed that Gulf War personnel were potentially exposed to
chemical warfare agents, (2) DOD and the Department of Veterans'
Affairs have begun to offer some limited medical screening for
potential toxic exposures experienced during the Gulf War, and (3)
DOD and the Department of Veterans' Affairs have launched new medical
studies following up on private sector studies showing a causal link
between chemical exposures and illnesses among Gulf War veterans. 
The Center's examination is an ongoing effort with no established
completion date. 


      OPERATION DESERT
      SHIELD/DESERT STORM
      ASSOCIATION
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:2.2

The Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm Association, located in
Odessa, Texas, was formed in November 1990 to collect and archive any
and all information related to the Gulf War, including the exposure
of service personnel to chemical warfare agents and the circumstances
surrounding gaps in the CENTCOM NBC Desk Log.  The Association was
formed to attempt to prevent a recurrence of the problems that
occurred during the Vietnam War with the government's handling of
exposures of military personnel to Agent Orange.  The founding
members believed that the major problem with the Agent Orange
situation was that no entity outside the government kept any
documentation during the Vietnam War. 

The Association's mission is accomplished through obtaining
government and private documents from worldwide sources, identifying
and collecting newspaper and magazine articles, and recording
television and radio presentations related to the Gulf War.  The
Association plans to continue its examination into all Gulf War
issues, including the use of, and exposure to chemical and biological
weapons in the Persian Gulf and gaps in CENTCOM's NBC Desk Log. 
Negotiations are underway to build a permanent archival, research,
and museum facility to provide information resources on all aspects
of the Persian Gulf War to anyone requesting such information. 

In 1991, from its contacts with sick veterans, the Association
determined that there were five areas of concern affecting the health
of service personnel:  human changes to the normal environment in the
Gulf, chemical and biological weapons exposure, radiation exposure,
parasitic infections, and the use of investigational drugs and
vaccines.  Since 1992, Association representatives have testified at
U.S.  and overseas meetings and hearings pertaining to the Gulf War
illnesses.  Also, in January 1992, the Association co-sponsored the
first "mystery illnesses" conference. 


      THE VETCENTER
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:2.3

In February 1994, the VetCenter located in Patchogue, New York, was
formed to determine why many Gulf War veterans became ill after the
war.  More specifically, the VetCenter is examining the possible
exposure of U.S.  personnel to chemical warfare agents, including
identifying incidents where personnel were exposed and disclosing
this information to the public. 

With respect to CENTCOM's NBC Desk Log, the VetCenter has been
examining the chain of custody and instances of noncompliance with
incident recording procedures.  This is being accomplished through
the correlation of units, locations, and the extent of illnesses
experienced by veterans in various areas.  Information is collected
primarily from veterans who served in the Gulf War through the use of
surveys posted on the VetCenter's Internet site and through mailings. 
This information is subsequently reviewed and followed up on through
telephone calls, electronic mail, and letters for validation. 
Veterans are asked to back up their statements by submitting photos
and other documentation.  This information is made available to
organizations such as congressional committees and individuals who
are examining the issue.  This work is an ongoing effort with no
established completion date. 


      THE NORTHWEST VETERANS FOR
      PEACE
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:2.4

The Northwest Veterans for Peace, located in Portland, Oregon, began
helping Gulf War veterans and their families obtain medical care
because the organization believed that the government was not
promptly attending to veterans returning to the United States.  In
1993, as a result of a congressional request, the organization began
testing saliva and urine of veterans and their families from an
Oregon National Guard unit that deployed to the Gulf.  In addition,
the organization asked veterans and their families to complete a
questionnaire covering their illnesses and their jobs, locations, and
time periods in the Gulf.  The questionnaire also asked about any
incident occurring in the Gulf that they believed was either a
chemical or biological incident.  In the summer of 1997, the
organization sent follow-up questionnaires to the veterans to
identify any changes in their health or the health of their families. 
The organization is still receiving questionnaire responses from the
veterans.  The organization has not established a completion date for
this effort. 


      DESERT STORM JUSTICE
      FOUNDATION
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:2.5

In February 1994, the Desert Storm Justice Foundation, located in
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was created as a nonprofit organization to
provide support to sick veterans and their families.  The Foundation
also serves as a clearinghouse for information from both government
and private sources about the possible exposure of U.S.  personnel to
nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare agents during the war,
widely disseminating the information to interested groups and
individuals.  The Foundation's efforts also include gathering
information on gaps in CENTCOM's NBC Desk Log.  This is an ongoing
examination with no established completion date. 


      GULFWATCH
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:2.6

In March 1991, GulfWatch, located in Hannibal, Missouri, was created
to provide information and documentation to the public regarding what
happened before, during, and after the war on a variety of topics,
including the possible exposure to U.S.  personnel to nuclear,
biological, and chemical warfare agents and gaps in CENTCOM's NBC
Desk Log.  The organization received information from sources in
intelligence agencies, from interviews with individuals who served in
the war, radio call-in programs, and filing requests for documents
under the Freedom of Information Act.  The organization disseminates
the information obtained to researchers and the media with the
objective of providing information on what actually happened during
the Gulf War.  The overall goal of the organization is to obtain
medical care for sick Gulf War veterans and to prevent a recurrence
of such problems.  The investigative efforts of GulfWatch are ongoing
with no established completion date. 


MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
========================================================== Appendix II

NATIONAL SECURITY AND
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIVISION,
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Carol R.  Schuster
Donald L.  Patton
Rodney E.  Ragan
William J.  Rigazio
Raymond G.  Bickert
Karen S.  Blum

NORFOLK FIELD OFFICE

Steve J.  Fox
William L.  Mathers


*** End of document. ***