During the Vietnam War, the government hid the truth about Agent Orange from the world.
The U.S. assumed that most of the world would be horrified by the use
of Agent Orange and other compounds. So it did its best to conceal the
The dangerous chemicals were sent overseas without any warning labels.
"American servicemen were told that these herbicides were completely
harmless, so no one took any precautions when handling them," says
Sills. "Essentially, Americans and Vietnamese were unnecessarily exposed
to poison so the U.S. could be protected from bad publicity."
When veterans became sick, the VA ignored their problems. After Vietnam vets came home, the VA systematically covered up the truth about military herbicides. Toxic War shows how the VA dodged evidence and manipulated facts to make it appear that these herbicides were harmless.
The government sponsored deliberately bad science to cover up the truth.
Almost all of the studies conducted on veterans who'd potentially been
exposed to herbicides were terribly done and are now largely
"If government scientists had merely done a bad job, then their
results would have been all over the place," notes Sills. "But all those
wrong findings pointed in just one direction—that Vietnam vets weren't harmed by these chemicals. This couldn't have been a coincidence."
The government consistently tried to prevent "Agent Orange" veterans from getting the help they've needed. "Whenever
the agency lost a round, it would fight the same battle again and
again, and keep losing over and over," says Sills. "It didn't give up
until Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki
finally agreed to grant benefits to anyone who suffered from diseases
that could have been caused by herbicide exposure, according to the best
Sadly, the government's unwillingness to accept responsibility wasn't
an aberration. It has also tried to minimize the harm caused by toxins
during the wars in the Middle East.
"There is a terrible disconnect between the inevitable demand to
support our troops in wartime and how we treat those same troops after
they come home," says Sills. "It is extremely unfortunate that political
expedience has consistently trumped the proper care of our veterans. It
isn't just that their health problems have been ignored. The government
has actively covered up the truth about what really happened to our