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New Book to Chronicle Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

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A new book about the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, which sickened hundreds of thousands of Marines and their families, will be released in early 2014, according to Military Times.

The book, “A Trust Betrayed: The Untold Story of Camp Lejeune and the Poisoning of Generations of Marines and Their Families,” is by National Journal managing editor Mike Magner.

For more than three decades, Marines, their families, and civilians who worked at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina used contaminated water for drinking, bathing, and cooking. Up to one million people were exposed to industrial degreasers and known carcinogens in the water.

The Project On Government Oversight has been working with Camp Lejeune victims and activists to secure recognition and justice for those affected by the contamination. Last year, President Obama signed into law a bill to provide healthcare to the Marines and their families who have rare forms of cancer and other illnesses after time spent at Camp Lejeune.

Though the victims have received some recognition and assistance, the Navy and Marine Corps continue to withhold crucial documents after years of attempting to cover up the contamination. Now, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing for a new, full report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on the health effects of the contamination after a previous CDC report was withdrawn.

In an interview with Military Times, Magner said he ran into similar walls of secrecy while reporting for “A Trust Betrayed.”

From the article:

“[The Marine Corps] have been very uncooperative. I tried for two months this spring to get an interview with the commandant,” Magner said. “I offered to go anywhere, at any time, if he would talk with me for 20 minutes. I got a comment that his schedule was booked and he had no time. That’s the way they’ve been all along.”

This veil of secrecy is concerning, especially given that the victims of Camp Lejeune may not be getting the medical care required by the law. A Rock Center report on this is troubling. We will be keeping a close eye on the government to ensure it provides adequate care and compensation to those suffering—and tells the truth about what really happened.

To learn more about the contamination at Camp Lejeune, listen to a podcast POGO recorded with Retired Master Sergeant Jerry Ensminger, who was a drill instructor at Camp Lejeune and whose daughter Janey died of leukemia when she was nine after being exposed to the contaminated water. Ensminger became a vocal advocate for victims of Camp Lejeune, and has been working for years to uncover the truth and secure justice for those exposed to the contamination. Ensminger was also the subject of the documentary Semper Fi: Always Faithful about Camp Lejeune.

By: Andre Francisco
Online Producer, POGO

andre francisco Andre Francisco is the Online Producer for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Public Health and Science

Related Content: Camp Lejeune Contamination Cover-up, Government Secrecy, Information Access, Public Health

Authors: Andre Francisco

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