CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE PROGRAM - "The use of human subjects will be allowed for the testing of chemical and biological agents by the U.S. Department of Defense, accounting to Congressional committees with respect to the experiments and studies." "The Secretary of Defense [may] conduct tests and experiments involving the use of chemical and biological [warfare] agents on civilian populations [within the United States]." SOURCE Public Law 95-79, Title VIII, Sec. 808, July 30, 1977, 91 Stat. 334. In U.S. Statutes-at-Large, Vol. 91, page 334, you will find Public Law 95-79. Public Law 97-375, title II, Sec. 203(a)(1), Dec. 21, 1982, 96 Stat. 1882. In U.S. Statutes-at-Large, Vol. 96, page 1882, you will find Public Law 97-375.
IN THE NEVADA DESERT IS AREA 51, A MILITARY BASE "SO SECRET...IT DOES NOT OFFICIALLY EXIST"...TELL THAT TO THE WIDOWS OF THE MEN WHO DIED THERE.
Washington Post Staff Writer
July 20, 1997; Page F1
...Turley is a law professor at George Washington University -- he directs its nonprofit Environmental Law Advocacy Center, funded in part by Hollywood do-gooder Barbra Streisand. He flies here every few months to meet with the clients he is representing in a lawsuit against the government -- Area 51 workers past and present and their families. He represented Wally Kasza before he died.
Bill Clinton certainly did not kill Wally Kasza, but he has been forced to deal with his angry widow. The administration maintains an abiding interest in the lawsuit Stella Kasza has brought against the federal government. Under a "presidential determination" that he must renew annually, Clinton has decreed that potential evidence related to Kasza's death is classified, top-secret, a matter of national security -- and that "it is in the paramount interest of the United States" that none of it be disclosed.
What's being covered up there, according to lawsuits filed by Kasza's widow, another worker's widow and five former Area 51 employees, are brazen environmental crimes. For several years, the workers say, they labored in thick, choking clouds of poisonous smoke as hazardous wastes were burned in huge open trenches on the base. Military officers armed with M-16s stood guard as truckloads of resins, paints and solvents -- materials used to make the Stealth bomber and other classified aircraft -- were doused with jet fuel and set ablaze with road flares.
Employees there cannot talk about the work they do. Everything and everyone connected to the base is classified -- part of the military's multi-billion-dollar "black budget" operations. "Specific activities . . . both past and present . . . cannot be discussed," the Air Force says in a statement Environmental crimes are particularly insidious because, as Turley points out, the victims often don't know they are victims. The burnings alleged by the workers are punishable by up to 15 years in prison. From their perspective, the evidence has been suppressed by the most powerful man in America. Federal environmental law requires public disclosure of the results of the EPA's inspection of the Groom Lake base. To prevent this, President Clinton invoked the military and state secrets privilege, specifically exempting the base from disclosing any pollution reports.
"When the government does wrong, we have the moral responsibility to admit it," the president said. Americans have become cynical and lost faith in democracy, he said, "because of stonewallings and evasions of the past, times when a family member or a neighbor suffered an injustice and had nowhere to turn and couldn't even get the facts."
A few days before that speech, Clinton signed the first order exempting Area 51 from disclosing its pollution records.
Presidential Determination No. 2001-27 of September 18, 2001
Classified Information Concerning the Air Force's
Operating Location Near Groom Lake, Nevada
Memorandum for the Administrator of the Environmental
Protection Agency and the Secretary of the Air Force
I find that it is in the paramount interest of the United States to exempt the United States Air Force's operating location near Groom Lake, Nevada, the subject of litigation in Kasza v.Browner (D. Nev. CV-S-94-795-PMP) and Frost v. Perry (D. Nev. CV-S-94-714-PMP), from any applicable requirement for the disclosure to unauthorized persons of classified information concerning that operating location. Therefore, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6961 (a), I hereby exempt the Air Force's operating location near Groom Lake, Nevada, from any Federal, State, interstate, or local provision respecting control and abatement of solid waste or hazardous waste disposal that would require the disclosure of classified information concerning the operating location to any unauthorized person. This exemption shall be effective for the full one-year statutory period.
Nothing herein is intended to: (a) imply that in the absence of such a Presidential exemption, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) or any other provision of law permits or requires disclosure of classified information to unauthorized persons; or (b) limit the applicability or enforcement of any requirement of law applicable to the Air Force's operating location near Groom Lake, Nevada, except those provisions, if any, that would require the
disclosure of classified information.
The Secretary of the Air Force is authorized and
directed to publish this determination in the Federal
George W. Bush
THE WHITE HOUSE,
Washington, September 18, 2001