United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

News Release

Press Operations Bookmark and Share

News Release


IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 209-97
May 01, 1997

PENTAGON NAMES FORMER SENATOR AS SPECIAL ADVISOR FOR GULF WAR ISSUES

The Department of Defense announced today that Defense Secretary William S. Cohen has named Warren B. Rudman as a special advisor on Gulf War illnesses issues. Rudman, a Korean War veteran and former senator is best known for his co- authorship of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act. Mr. Rudman served on the Senate Intelligence Committee. He is currently vice chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Rudman is also a partner in the Washington, D.C., offices of the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison law firm.

Editor's Note: A copy of Secretary Cohen's letter of 30 April, 1997 to Warren B. Rudman is attached.

30 April 1997

The Honorable Warren B. Rudman 1615 L Street Suite 1300 Washington. DC 20036 Dear Senator Rudman:

President Clinton has made a commitment to veterans of the Gulf War to "leave no stone unturned" in the government's efforts to learn the causes and cures of the illnesses that afflict many who served in Desert Storm. I share that commitment.

When I became Secretary of Defense. I inherited a vigorous program to assess and improve our response to the concerns of the Gulf War veterans. That program, directed by Dr. Bernard Rostker, is producing tangible results. Under his leadership, the Department of Defense is reaching out to thousands of Gulf War veterans to develop a more complete picture of events during the Gulf War, conducting an active dialogue with veterans groups and Congress, releasing thousands of declassified intelligence documents and records and aggressively studying events that some veterans believe may have exposed them to chemicals.

I believe that Dr. Rostker and his team are making steady and significant progress in their efforts to reconstruct events and to understand the factors that may have harmed the health of Gulf War veterans. More than 80 research projects are under way. Despite these efforts, however, the causes of illnesses that many veterans suffer remain a mystery.

Both Dr. Rostker and I share President Clinton's commitment to do everything we can to. understand what happened to veterans, to provide the best possible care and compensation to those who are ill and to learn all we can from the Gulf War to reduce the hazards of future military deployments.

The results of many of our investigations will soon be available. Our efforts in this. regard must be as thorough and complete as possible, and I believe an outside review of our findings will help accomplish that objective. I am pleased that you have agreed to advise us in these efforts. In addition to making whatever recommendations you believe appropriate based on the findings of the investigations, George Tenet, the Acting DCI, and I ask that you pay attention to the cooperation between the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community and suggest ways to improve the provision, handling and use of intelligence information during battle.

You have answered your country's call many times -- as a soldier during the Korean War, as a Senator and now as the vice chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. I am pleased that you have agreed to take on this job for the benefit of our soldiers and veterans.

Sincerely,

Bill