The long-awaited Government Accountability Office report on the use of Agent Orange on Guam was not quite the smoking gun some veterans hoped for.
It does not conclude that the toxic herbicide made landfall or was used on island, as claimed by certain veterans.
For one man familiar with the history of Agent Orange, the report speaks more toward the opposite.
Alvin Young, commonly called "Dr. Orange" for his expertise on tactical herbicides, said the GAO corroborated his prior conclusions.
Young often has been criticized for his opposition to claims that Agent Orange was used on Guam and elsewhere. Pro Publica, a nonprofit based in New York City, ran an exposé on Young, tying the scientist to government rhetoric denying Agent Orange claims.
But the issue has weaved in and out of headlines over the years, and recent claims of herbicide spraying from the late Master Sgt. Leroy Foster reignited interest in the topic. Certain members of Congress requested a review of potential links between the herbicide and Guam.
After reviewing logbooks for 96 percent of vessels known to have transported Agent Orange, the GAO found one ship carrying Agent Orange and other tactical herbicides stopped at Apra Harbor en route to Vietnam more than 50 years ago, but there is no evidence indicating the toxic cargo was offloaded on island.
"They did acknowledge that the SS Gulf Shipper stopped at Port Apra on the way to Vietnam. However, they make the argument that why unload any tactical herbicide and move it to Andersen (Air Force Base) when there was simply no justification – especially if the conclusion is that the tactical (herbicide) was then flown to Vietnam. Makes no sense," Young said.