Deputy Secretary of Defense John P. White today directed the
Department of Defense Inspector General to take over the
investigation of what happened to a nuclear, biological and
chemical log maintained at the U.S. Central Command forward
headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during the Gulf War. White
took the action in order to ensure every possible effort has been
made to uncover relevant information that might add to an
understanding of Gulf War illnesses.
White asked the Inspector General to follow all leads that
can be developed on the location of the original log or copies,
in electronic or hard copy versions; to gather all originals or
copies that can be located; and if a full copy cannot be located,
Dr. Bernard Rostker, the Special Assistant for Gulf War
Illnesses, and his team have been seeking information about the
log for the past several months as part of an ongoing
comprehensive series of inquiries on unresolved issues associated
with Gulf War illnesses. Thirty-six pages from the log were
located in 1994. The electronic version of the full log has not
Through a series of interviews of military personnel, Dr.
Rostker's team determined that the log was maintained on a
computer and that some portion may have been destroyed by a virus
during the war. The team was unable to locate a full paper copy.
While our study is incomplete and will now be continued by
the IG, I have seen no evidence thus far that anyone
intentionally destroyed the log, said Dr. Rostker.
In taking the action, White also directed all elements of
the Department to provide the Inspector General full access and
support to the effort to retrieve the log. The results of the
investigation will be made available to Congress and to the
Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses.
The investigation will begin immediately.