Thursday, December 7, 2017

Agent Orange, exposed: How U.S. chemical warfare in Vietnam unleashed a slow-moving disaster

In the end, the military campaign was called Operation Ranch Hand, but it originally went by a more appropriately hellish appellation: Operation Hades. As part of this Vietnam War effort, from 1961 to 1971, the United States sprayed over 73 million liters of chemical agents on the country to strip away the vegetation that provided cover for Vietcong troops in “enemy territory.”
Using a variety of defoliants, the U.S. military also intentionally targeted cultivated land, destroying crops and disrupting rice production and distribution by the largely communist National Liberation Front, a party devoted to reunification of North and South Vietnam.
Some 45 million liters of the poisoned spray was Agent Orange, which contains the toxic compound dioxin. It has unleashed in Vietnam a slow-onset disaster whose devastating economic, health and ecological impacts that are still being felt today.
This is one of the greatest legacies of the country’s 20-year war, but is yet to be honestly confronted. Even Ken Burns and Lynn Novick seem to gloss over this contentious issue, both in their supposedly exhaustive “Vietnam War” documentary series and in subsequent interviews about the horrors of Vietnam.

1 comment:

  1. Agent Purple was first used in what was then the Panama Canal Zone in the 1940s, and then came Monsanto who didn't want to pay DOW and created Orange. 1959 was the first year that 2,4-D & 2,4,5-T was shipped as its own item. 1940s-1959, it was included in all other herbicides as NEC(Not Elsewhere Classified). My guess is it became its own item to get ready to ship off to Vietnam. Panama got plenty of Orange also throughout the years. From January 1959-December 1977, even after it was supposedly all safely stored for burning at Johnston Island in the summer of 1977.
    I am the wife of a veteran who lives each day without a pancreas and was in and out of the hospital for 24 years. I also lived in Panama Canal Zone and worked for the military. Working as a Civil Servant, everything we ordered had to be written down. So I knew IF Agent Orange was ever in Panama, it had to be written somewhere. I found it in the U.S. Census Bureau Commodity by Country FT410s. 1973-1977 FT410s can be seen from my website
    If you know anyone who served/lived in Panama and is suffering from a presumptive disease, please register at We do have a Veterans Attorney who has won a case for a Panama veteran exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Panama. The VA/DoD have not admitted it was there, but I have produced this proof and written a book called The Travels of Orange and other toxins, available on Amazon. 1000 chemicals were first tested in Panama CZ in 1943 at the Malariology school by the U.S., English, Canadians and many horrible chemicals continued to be used in the CZ for decades. Even in 1974-1977 while we were at Fort Davis DDT was sprayed all around our quarters, even though it was banned in the United States and we were under the jurisdiction of the United States. As well, technical chlordane was used in and outside our quarters for termite control. Aberdeen came down in 1976 to test for 2,4-D & 2,4,5-t and several other chemicals. Aberdeen also wrote a report in 1993 saying they expected dependents to come forward due to the technical chlordane used in our quarters on all bases during the Vietnam era, yet there is no recourse for dependents. I hope to correct this travesty and get these veterans the help they deserve.