SPECIAL OVERSIGHT BOARD
FOR DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
INVESTIGATONS OF GULF WAR
CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL INCIDENTS
Table of Contents
|Chapter 2||September 16, 1999 Meeting|
|Chapter 3||Recommendations Based on OSAGWI Presentation and Plans|
|Appendix A||Excerpt from transcript of September 16, 1999 meeting|
|Appendix B||OSAGWI Presentation Materials|
During the July 13, 1999 Public Hearing , The Department of Defense (DoD) Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses (OSAGWI) out-year budget and manpower projections were presented along with the OSAGWI mission priorities and rationale. In addition, a conceptual transition plan for OSAGWI was introduced that included the rationale, missions and functions that should be transferred, and the relationship of the phase-out plans and the budget and manpower projections. The shifting emphasis from case narratives and environmental exposure reports to information papers was also discussed.
The Special Oversight Board for Department of Defense Investigations of Gulf War Chemical and Biological Incidents (Board) requested the Special Assistant to return in sixty days with a thorough review of the OSAGWI analyses in progress and recommend those case narratives and environmental exposure reports that should be revised and reissued, continued to completion, or discontinued.
The invitation was based on the following:
September 16, 1999 Meeting
The Chairman, Vice Chairman, three of the five Board members, and Board staff attended this meeting, at which the Special Assistant presented his project by project description of the cases currently under or awaiting investigation.
These presentation slides and backup supplementary materials papers summarized the genesis and status of each case. They also contained the recommended disposition of these cases. In several cases, the Special Assistant recommended termination of an investigation based on current findings or anticipated outcomes.
The Special Assistant supplemented the briefing with detailed one-page summaries of each case narrative and environmental exposure report. Open discussion took place between the Board members and the Special Assistant on the different elements of these reports , some of which were recommended for continuation, and some recommended for discontinuation.
The findings of both the United Nations (UNSCOM) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) conclude that no chemical weapons were known to be or found to have been shipped south of Khamisiyah, Iraq. No information, including cases narratives published by OSAGWI, has been discovered or published to either refute or challenge the UNSCOM or CIA conclusions. These findings support both the Special Assistant's recommendations to the Board and the Board's action (on those recommendations) as enumerated in this report.
A complete transcript of the meeting is available in the Board offices,
and at the Board's Internet web site at http://www.oversight.ncr.gov/
Recommendations Based on OSAGWI Presentation and Plans
The following are the Board's action(s) with respect to the recommendations
presented by the Special Assistant. The Board disapproved two of the Special
Assistant's recommendations (*) listed below. Each of the Special Assistant's
other recommendations were approved.
|11TH MARINES II||Continue and publish||Approved|
|2nd Marine Recon Bn. Injuries||Discontinue||*Disapproved.
Continue and publish
|Air Campaign||Continue and publish||Approved|
|Al Jubayl, Saudi Arabia II||Continue and publish||Approved|
|Al Muthanna||Continue and publish||Approved|
|An Nasiryah II||Continue and publish||Approved|
|ARCENT possible chem weapons site||Discontinue (contrary to PAC guidance)||Approved|
|Biological Warfare||Discontinue||Approved. Prepare a summary of info gathered to date and reason for discontinuation|
|Camp Monterey II||Continue and publish||Approved|
|Czech/French II||Continue and publish||Approved|
|Fox Alerts 24th ID||Continue and publish||Approved|
|Fox Information Paper II||Continue and publish||Approved|
|Fox (Vehicle) north of Tallil||Discontinue||Approved|
|Injured Marine||Continue and publish||Approved|
|JCMEC/TEU Info paper||Discontinue||Approved|
|Khamisiyah II||Continue and publish||Approved|
|Kuwaiti Girls School II||Continue and publish||Approved|
|M256 Detection Rafha||Continue and publish||Approved|
|MARCENT possible Chem Weapons Site||Discontinue (contrary to PAC guidance)||Approved|
|Marine RSCALL (XM2) Alerts||Discontinue||Approved|
|Marine Breaching II||Continue and publish||Approved|
|Muhammadiyat||Continue and publish||Approved|
|Munitions Marking Info Paper||Discontinue||Approved|
|Possible Post-war CW use by Iraq||Discontinue||Approved. Prepare a summary of info gathered to date and reason for discontinuation|
|Reported Mustard Exposure II||Continue and publish||Approved|
|SCUD Info Paper||Discontinue||*Disapproved
Continue and publish
|Tallil Air Base II||Continue and publish||Approved|
|Ukhaydir||Continue and publish||Approved|
|CARC Paint||Continue and publish||Approved|
|Depleted Uranium II||Continue and publish||Approved|
|Depleted Uranium final||Continue and publish||Approved|
|Oil Well fires II||Continue and publish||Approved|
|Particulate Matter||Continue and publish||Approved|
|Pesticides (Use in the
|Continue and publish||Approved|
|GW Health Care
Policies & Practices
|Discontinue||Approved. Recommend ASD(HA) and JCS review findings to date for followup. Forward to ASD(HA)|
|Vaccine Administration||Continue and publish||Approved. Publish (coordinate with ASD(HA))|
|Saudi Arabia National Guard Study||Continue and publish||Approved|
In the Board's Interim Report, and in hearings conducted in July 1999, the Board recommended that the OSAGWI both report to the Board which on-going activities could be discontinued, and provide a phase-out plan for discontinuation of OSAGWI's investigative focused activities.
The Board believes OSAGWI can complete its mission by January 2001 based on the Special Assistant's observation that "we can reasonably complete our mission by January 2001. ..." The Board anticipates that OSAGWI activities for CY 2000 will focus on completion of the OSAGWI mission by this mutually agreed upon date.
The following Board comments apply to the other recommendations made by the Special Assistant:
Draw-down and the proposed structure of a "follow-on" organization
Incident Analysis. The Board accepts the Special Assistant's recommendations and awaits the March 2000 briefing on the proposed organizational structure of the follow-on organization.
Veterans Data Management. The Board accepts the Special Assistant's recommendations.
The Board concurs with the proposal that all veterans' activities and outreach activities be combined into a single activity or sub-function of the follow-on organization. OSAGWI has demonstrated by its performance over the past several years, that individual veterans and Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) continue to look to the DoD as a primary contact for matters affecting veterans who once served in a military service. Veterans and VSO's expect and deserve a formal relationship with their former employer (DoD).
The Board conducted a public hearing at Fort Lewis, Washington on October 19, 1999. At that hearing, the American Legion representative petitioned the Board to consider the relationship that has been fostered by the Special Assistant and his OSAGWI organization and the veteran's community. In particular, the American Legion representative requested that the Board consider that the OSAGWI lessons learned activity might not be appropriately assigned to the Joint Staff. The speaker stressed that the veteran outreach functions of the DoD, as conducted by the OSAGWI staff, be maintained after OSAGWI's investigative activities have ceased.
However, the Board does not view "town hall" meetings as being the cornerstone
of veteran outreach activity. Rather, as outlined above by the American
, the Board's sense is that DoD should maintain
an "organic" veteran liaison function (within OSD, at the special assistant
to the Secretary level) to carry-on the outreach work OSAGWI originated.
Active and visible participation in VSO events, annual meetings, etc. and
an "ombudsman" type function at OSD may prove to be the most productive
of these activities. During the OSAGWI drawdown, the "town hall" outreach
function should be discontinued, eventually, as it relates to the issue
of Gulf War illnesses (target date by the establishment of the follow-on
organization). If this effort should continue, OSAGWI should advise the
Board how DoD, DHHS, and DVA will be integrated into this, and other, future
"Lessons Learned" The Board addressed the issue of "lessons learned" in its Interim Report, and recommended that "...any continuation of the 'lessons learned' activity at OSAGWI be supported by a plan, approved and directed by the Secretary of Defense, that addresses and recognizes the formal integration of the OSAGWI lessons learned team into the existing Military Service and Joint Staff lessons learned infrastructure."
The Board reiterates its recommendation that the OSAGWI "lessons learned" concept must be continued in some fashion and incorporated in the follow-on organization. The follow-on organization is envisioned as a "deployment" and "deployment issues" focused organization.
The individual Service doctrine commands can publish and disseminate appropriate lessons learned to insure that they are scripted for and sent to all echelons of each Service, and the Joint Staff can direct similar guidance to the Specified and Unified Commands.
Case Narratives and Environmental Exposure Reports
The Board recommends that OSAGWI identify a date in CY 2000, beyond which it will begin to draw down. OSAGWI should designate at the earliest possible time in the investigative process which case narratives will be identified as a "final report." No follow-on revisions of any report will be published.
Recommendation for Executive Action
The Board first met in November, 1998. In accordance with the Executive Order 13075, the Board is required to submit a final report within eighteen months of the first meeting. If the Executive Order is not amended, a final report will be due in May, 2000. The Board will then terminate before the end of June, 2000.
The Special Assistant has recommended, and the Board accepted and concurred, that bthe Board's tenure should be extended to coincide with the OSAGWI term to end not later than January 2001. This extension will allow the Board to provide continued oversight of the OSAGWI effort, through its transition to a "follow-on organization" and completion of on going or programmed case narratives, and or information papers and environmental exposure reports, and appropriate information papers.
The Board recommends that The Secretary of Defense request that the President amend Executive Order 13075 to read as follows:
End of Special Report
The Board will issue a Final Report in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Executive Order 13075, any subsequent presidential directives, and the Board's charter.