POWELL FAVORS GOVERNMENT INQUIRY INTO WAR ILLNESS.
Byline: The New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times
While insisting that he knew of no evidence showing that American troops had been exposed to chemical or biological weapons during the Persian Gulf War Persian Gulf War
or Gulf War
(1990–91) International conflict triggered by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. Though justified by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on grounds that Kuwait was historically part of Iraq, the invasion was presumed to be , Gen. Colin Powell Noun 1. Colin Powell - United States general who was the first African American to serve as chief of staff; later served as Secretary of State under President George W. Bush (born 1937)
Colin luther Powell, Powell said Monday that he supported a wide-ranging government investigation to ``get to the bottom'' of the mysterious illnesses reported by thousands of Gulf War veterans.
Powell, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking overall military officer of the United States military, and the principal military adviser to the President of the United States. in 1991, said in an interview that while chemical-detection alarms had sounded repeatedly during the war, American commanders in the gulf had been unable to confirm the detections and had believed them to be false alarms.
``They saw nothing that substantiated the alarm evidence,'' he said. ``The alarms went off, and it wasn't clear that the alarms' going off was necessarily'' evidence of ``the presence of chemical weapons,'' said Powell, who is retired.
He noted that American commanders ``didn't see anybody becoming ill, and chemical weapons usually make you ill rather immediately.''
Asked what information about the chemical alarms had been reported to the Pentagon Pentagon
Huge five-sided building (1941–43) in Arlington, Va., that is the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense. Designed by George Edwin Bergstrom, it was, on its completion, the world's largest office building, covering 34 acres (14 hectares) and offering during the war, Powell replied: ``I may well have been aware of them, but not in a way that caused me any alarm. There had been no offensive use of chemical weapons. No one was falling ill.''
The Pentagon revealed earlier this year that thousands of troops may have been exposed to nerve gas nerve gas, any of several poison gases intended for military use, e.g., tabun, sarin, soman, and VX. Nerve gases were first developed by Germany during World War II but were not used at that time. and other Iraqi chemical weapons when American combat engineers blew up an ammunition depot shortly after the war. Since then, other former Pentagon officials and military officers have declined to be interviewed on the subject, most notably Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the American commander in the gulf, and Richard Cheney, the former defense secretary.