[EXCERPT] DoD News Briefing
Thursday, August 14, 1997 -- 2:00 p.m. (EDT)
Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD (PA)
Q: Pertaining to the 1990 Livermoore National Lab report on Gulf War
bombing, General Schwarzkopf told Gannett News Service this morning he
never saw the report. My question is why not, and how far up the chain
of command did that go?
A: I can't answer either of those questions. We do have a separate
investigation going on into the intelligence aspects of the Gulf War
-- what we knew, when we knew it, who learned it, how they learned it,
why didn't other people learn it, did the right people learn it, were
our procedures efficient and effective? That's all being run by the
Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight, Walt
Jacoh. He was instructed to do this study in the fall of 1996 at the
same time Dr. Bernard Rostker was appointed as the Special Assistant
for Gulf War Illnesses. He's been laboring away in that study, and we
hope that it will provide answers to some of these questions.
I might add two things about that study, though. The first is, the
idea that there were intelligence reports done that did not always
reach all the soldiers in the field is not new. We have discovered
that there have been other examples of that. One of the reasons that
Mr. Jacoh is investigating the treatment and use of intelligence is to
find out how we can avoid that from happening in the future.
Second, there is nothing in this report, as I understand it, that
suggests that poisonous materials that may have been blown up north of
Baghdad or around Baghdad during the war drifted far enough to go over
U.S. troops. I believe there is nothing in this report that suggests
that. But again, we have, and Dr. Rostker announced this along with
Mr. Walpole at the CIA when we did the plume analysis, we have decided
to go back and to reexamine a lot of these analyses using the new
formulas we've developed and the new computational techniques for
charting wind directions and dispersion of gasses or potential
Q: You said drifted, past tense. This report was done three months
before the war. I've seen the report. It predicts a plume of 378 miles
-- well within the combat theater.
A: It's not my impression that it does, but I will doublecheck on
that. There are actually diagrams of plumes in the report, and the
modeling indicated, in fact the CIA provided a report on intelligence
related to Gulf War Illnesses in August of 1996, and in that report it
said Our modeling indicates that chemical agent fallout from these
facilities, both located in remote areas west of Baghdad, do not reach
troops in Saudi Arabia. We have no information to suggest that
casualties occurred inside Iraq as a result of chemical warfare
agents' release from the bombing of these sites, probably because, and
they mention some facilities that are in remote locations far from any
Q: One of the models was done by Livermoore specifically at the
request of the Pentagon. My understanding from Livermoore is that that
model was thrown out as being too extreme and that it did show
A: I'm not aware that that's the case, but I'll look into it.
Q: You'll take that question?
Q: Will that report be released?
A: You're from Gannett, right?
Q: I am from Gannett.
A: You've already gotten the report, haven't you? I guess the...
Q: We're talking about two different reports. My first question was on
the 1990 request. Livermoore was tasked with doing a study on the
Khamisiyah plume also, and that study was deemed, I'm paraphrasing,
but too extreme. Said it was not useful. The other model...
A: You're asking me about two things.
Q: I am.
A: I was confused because it wasn't clear that you were asking me now
about Khamisiyah. I will check into that.
I know, obviously, that in general terms as Mr. Walpole disclosed,
there was a lot of trouble getting what we thought were adequate
models of the Khamisiyah experience, and I will look specifically into
that Lawrence Livermoore...
Q: The second part of your answer, I think, I assume, when you said
these new, more sophisticated models that Walpole has said will be
applied, they're going to be to Methana and Almadiyah?
A: And we will apply them to other possible... To any possible
incident where there's concern about drifting or dispersion of agents.
We will, as I understand it, apply the new, more sophisticated
techniques that were developed to analyze the Khamisiyah plume.
Q: Can you be a little more clear on that? I'm kind of confused. This
A: The Livermoore study, as I understand it, refers to Khamisiyah.
Q: I'm sorry, I'm talking about the pre-war...
A: That's a different study, right?
A: The Livermoore study applies to...
Q: Reported by Gannett...
Q: ...October of 1990.
Q: Does this go into detail about specific agents at specific
locations and the type of threat or harm it might do to troops in
certain regions? I'm asking about the specificity of this...
A: I do not know.
Q: ...if it's a template or...
A: I haven't read the study.
Q: Can you say that the... This model I can buy. Livermoore was
commissioned by Tactical Air Command, is that correct? That's my
A: That is what I've been told, yes.
Q: And if General Schwarzkopf never saw it, then it presumably did not
make it, and I don't know whether you know the answer to this yet, but
that the report didn't go beyond Tactical Air Command at that point?
A: This is the type of thing that Walter Jacoh is trying to figure
out. He is looking at what happened to all of these studies, where the
information got, did it get to the right people, did it get there on
time, and he, I hope, will have the answers to these questions. I do
Q: The Senate Banking Committee asked for the information in October
of 1993, and it had to be revealed via FOIA. That person only got it
last Saturday. Why is there a delay of four years in getting the
announcement out of the study?
A: I cannot explain that. All I can tell you is that since the fall of
1996 when Mr. Jacoh was appointed to do his review and Dr. Rostker was
appointed to his job, that we worked very aggressively to get out as
much information as possible. It's clear that there are vast numbers
of studies, there are vast numbers of intelligence reports. Many of
these have been revealed, some have not yet. One of the things Mr.
Jacoh is doing is looking at the whole picture of what we knew and who
got to know that and whether it was efficiently and properly
Q: Now I'm a little confused. Your answer to Susanne's question about
there was not specificity in the report...
A: I did not answer the question. I don't know. I haven't read the
report. I made it very clear. I don't know whether there was
specificity in the report.
Q: I'm sorry. I thought Colonel Bridges had indicated to you from
off-line here that there was not a lot of specificity in the report,
so let me rephrase my question then.
I thought Susanne had asked whether the report addressed the potential
of agents being released from targets in Iraq, and you said it was not
clear whether there was specificity? Is that it?
A: I did not comment on specificity because I haven't read the report.
I can't tell you anything about specificity.
Q: Can one of your aides who has the report tell us?
A: You can check with Brian afterwards on that.
Q: Can you say up until this point in time if the Pentagon has had any
evidence that bombing by the Air Force did, in fact, release agents?
A: We do not have evidence that agents were released from bombing of
facilities in Iraq that affected U.S. troops.