In an exclusive, the Raw Story reports that a former Communications Commander with the Army Special Forces, partially disabled by a series of anthrax vaccinations, has been called back to active duty effective May 1.

Jason Cordova, a “self-proclaimed Bush supporter adds: ‘Let’s face it. This is what John Kerry called the backdoor draft. I’m exactly it. Being involuntarily called back from the inactive ready-reserve.’”

This story raises concerns, again, about anthrax vaccinations. More below, including a physician’s letter to the FDA:

[Jason] Cordova applied to the Veterans Administration for disability benefits in 2002. Citing his symptoms and linking them directly to the anthrax vaccine, the VA granted him a 10 percent benefit. This status means he is officially a disabled veteran.

Despite his service-related disability, Cordova received notice from the Army in June 2004 that he would soon be called back to duty for Operation Enduring Freedom, one of nearly 10,000 servicemembers who were recalled after successfully completing their active duty requirements.

The after-effects of the vaccine:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSoon after the first five of the required six injections … he began experiencing excruciating physical ailments.

“There are times when I am just urinating,” says Commander Cordova … “and all of the sudden a thick fluid will come out, my testicles will be swollen, enlarged and very tender. Then the anthrax injection site in my waist becomes inflamed.”

According to Cordova, infectious disease doctors speculate that the vaccination may have entered his lymphatic system—primarily affecting nodes in his groin.

“When an episode occurs, and it does about two to three times per week, the pain becomes so unbearable I can’t even walk. …”

Are the anthrax vaccinations safe? Meryl Nass, MD
Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine, created a Web site,, “as a source of accurate information on the human anthrax vaccine, originally named MDPH-PA or AVA and renamed BioThrax in January 2002, which has been given to 550,000 servicemembers and some civilians.” On March 29, 2005, Dr. Nass wrote a letter to the FDA:

The Alliance for Human Research Protection has opposed the forced use of anthrax vaccine on military service­members between 1990 and 2004, because it was never properly tested, never proven safe or effective, and improperly licensed. We are even more concerned about future mandatory anthrax vaccinations. When a federal judge ruled the vaccine to be an “investigational drug and a drug being used for an unapproved purpose” on December 22, 2003, FDA hurriedly issued a Final Rule for anthrax vaccine. The agency submitted its Final Rule just eight days after a federal court injunction, having failed to do so for 19 years. In a January 7, 2004 court hearing the same judge called FDA’s actions “highly suspicious.” …

We have provided FDA with a large number of facts about the vaccine, …

Human beings ­­ including military service­members ­­ deserve to make informed choices about vaccines and drugs. Unfortunately, FDA’s past actions have repeatedly undermined informed consent and have aided and abetted the military’s unlawful cover­ up of the very real risks of this vaccine. We implore you to insure that the agency’s future regulatory actions place respect for both the law and and the dignity of all American citizens before the demands of the Department of Defense. …

(Read the entire Letter, PDF format)

As for Cordova, his appeals have been denied:

Cordova’s request for exemption was denied. …”

“That’s it,” Cordova cries. “There’s no regulation, nothing. I have no faith that a board even convened to look at it. I don’t know if there was a doctor on the board; were they qualified? Did they take minutes at the meeting, if there even was one?”

The Army granted Cordova 14 days to file an appeal. But without any specifics regarding the Army’s refusal, Cordova had no grounds …

“They’re asking me in the appeal to answer something in the particular when they only gave me an answer in the abstract,” he says.

Cordova’s appeal was subsequently denied.

Cordova’s attempts to get help from politicians have been fruitless:

“So far I’ve contacted Sen. Arlen Specter, Sen. Rick Santorum, and Congressman Todd Platts,” … he’s heard little.

Cordova reserved his harshest words for the senior senator from Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter … a former chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs [who] recently contacted him …

The call came from Gayle Mills, Executive Director in Specter’s Harrisburg office. Commander Cordova claims she made “outrageous” remarks.

“She said I should take three Cipro pills and show up for the physical … That’s all they had to do when the Senate building had the anthrax scare.”

“She tried to liken her experience being at the Hart Senate Building to me being sent over to Iraq or Afghanistan with a significant threat of anthrax,” Cordova says.

“I don’t think Al Qaeda is going to send me a letter, an envelope,” he quips. “It’s going to be a little bigger, know what I mean?”

Cordova asserts that Mills told him that because he had received five of the six required anthrax vaccine injections, he was safe, and his concern about being at a disadvantage as compared to other soldiers was unfounded. This information is in direct contrast to Department of Defense regulations. …Raw Story

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