Paul’s Perambulations

July 19, 2010

WWII COs — My Heroes (and friends) in the fight for true peace.

Filed under: Love,Peace,Religion — admin @ 2:33 pm

I was at the annual PYM Peace Picnic recently and spoke with two WWII veterans (Neil Hartman & Warren Sawyer) – pacifist COs in medical experiments intentionally infected with hepatitis by injection or by drinking fecal water. My friend Russ Tuttle wore lice underwear in typhus tests. These are my heroes…they saved many lives. Incidentally, our governemnt says none of these COs died, although admitting that some were very ill. But COs say that some of those who became chronically ill were released from service and later died of “unknown” causes within a few years after discharge. The dieseases they received were often of a chronic debilitating variety. Incidentally, U.S. law mandated the same salary for COs as for other draftees. But because COs were hated (and often abused…ask me) and politicians want to be re-elected, Congress refused to authorize/budget this money for COs in service. This was very hard on the wives and children of these draftees…they got nothing and the government let them suffer. (Truman thought COs no better than the enemy, after all [ref. elsewhere on this site]. Interesting to consider that Truman always considered himself a good Christian.  I wonder what he would have thought of Jesus?)

Fran Sheldon commented on Facebook: From the school newsreels in 1959 I heard about medical experiments on humans and “positive eugenics.” They were definitely presented as a good things, how science works for humanity. We also had videos, lots of them, from the Korean war, of Americans using flamethrowers against individual enemy soldiers. (Of course they never said Korean or North Korean, but used some ethnic pejorative.) We’ve come a long way since then, but the progress is being eroded.

Paul Sheldon replied: I think you’re referring to the forced sterilization practiced in America in the first half of the 20th century after your cousin Wendell famously declared “Three generations of idiots is enough” in the majority opinion by the Supreme Court that approved the policy. But what COs got was:”The first experiments were to study the transmission of  scabies and to determine the water requirements of shipwrecked sailors. These were directed by Dr Kenneth Mellanby and were described by him in his book Human Guinea-pigs.The vitamin A and vitamin C deprivation experiments were initiated by the Medical Research Council at the request of the Ministry of Food because it was necessary to know, in planning food rationing, how much of these food factors were needed for health.”

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