U.S. Has Allowed Two Immigrants To Enter Country For Every Job Created Since Year 2000

Two Immigrants For Every New Job Since 2000 – Daily Caller

The United States has accepted two new immigrants for each additional job created since 2000, according to federal data.

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The data shows that 18 million legal and illegal immigrants settled in the United States from 2000 to 2015, while only 9.3 million additional jobs were created, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors a reduced level of immigration.

After subtracting deaths, departures and retirements among the immigrants, the working-age population of immigrants has grown 12 million since 2000, according to data at the Bureau of Labor Standards, said Steve Camarota, the author of the CIS study.

That’s equal to three years of American births.

The population of Americans aged 16 to 65 also grew by 16 million from 2000 to 2014, Camarota told The Daily Caller.

That overall population of working-age immigrants and native-born Americans increased by 28 million, which is three times the number of jobs added since 2000.

The huge growth in the labor supply, and the slow growth of employment, debunks predictions by Democrats and business groups that immigrant labor spurs the economy enough to ensure that even Americans gain from the inflow.

Instead, the post-2000 flood of migrants and young Americans workers has swamped the slow-growing labor market, and is helping to drive down salaries and to boost values on Wall Street. “Median household income, on average, has fallen 9 percent since the turn of the century,” The New York Times reported in January, matching conventional economic predictions about supply and demand in the labor market.

The extra immigrants are mostly poor, drive up taxpayers’ costs for welfare spending and are crowding into classrooms and spiking state and local education budgets.

The public is increasingly hostile to extra immigration, even as respondents tell pollsters that they value the American tradition of immigration and also that they respect immigrants. The contrast between public statements and private voting was demonstrated in the Democratic stronghold of Oregon, where Americans voted in November by two-to-one to deny drivers licenses to illegals. A January 2015 Gallup poll showed that only seven percent of Americans want a higher rate of immigration, despite minimal media coverage about the scale of immigration.

One reason for the low support for additional immigration is public opposition to companies that hire migrants at lower pay than Americans. In part, migrants take lower wages because their pay will be effectively increased by the government’s subsequent award of citizenship to them. That’s a hugely valuable deferred payment to migrants, to their future children and to their parents, who can later gain residency and sign up for Medicare’s various aid programs.

American citizens, however, can’t get citizenship as deferred wages. Instead, they must ask employers to pay their full wages – except for welfare payments – which puts them at a disadvantage in the labor market.

The percentage of working-age, native-born Americans who are in the labor market has fallen from 76.0 percent in 2000, down to 71.5 percent in 2014, according to the CIS report. The trend has pushed 13 million additional Americans out of the workforce since 2000.

In November 2014, one in every five U.S. jobs was held by a foreign-born worker, up from one-in-six jobs in January 2010, according to federal data highlighted by the Center for Immigration Studies.

The resulting poverty and social conflict in the United States has spiked demand for big government aid programs since 2000. That demand helped Sen. Barack Obama claim the presidency in 2008 and 2012.

Obama and his allied Democrats have accelerated the process.

During Obama’s tenure, the normal immigrant inflow of 1 million per year has been boosted by the unprecedented distribution of roughly 7.4 million work-permits to illegals, refugees, tourists and other categories of foreigners.

That supply of 7.4 million workers is in addition to the roughly four million working-age immigrants among the 6 million legal immigrants who have arrived since 2009.

The combination of the 4 million and the 7.4 million has added roughly 11.4 million new foreign workers to the labor market since Obama was inaugurated in January 2009.

During the same period, roughly 26 million young Americans joined the workforce in search of the jobs needed to pay off college debts, to buy houses and to start families.

That means roughly one working-age immigrant has entered the labor market for every two or three young Americans who turn 18 during Obama’s six-year tenure.

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Jordan’s King Abdullah Shows U.S. President Asshat What Leadership Is All About

Jordan’s King Gets Medieval On Them – Investor’s Business Daily

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Jordan is taking the war to the terrorists – not only on land but on the propaganda front, where Islamic State has had the high ground for a while. Jordan’s will to win is injecting new energy into the war on terror.

In less than a week, Jordan has transformed itself from a bit player in the war on terror to a moral beacon of why we fight – because it’s ultimately a struggle of good versus evil, and good must win.

It began with King Abdullah’s fiery vow to make the “earth shake” against terrorists who’d just murdered a 26-year-old Jordanian pilot from a prominent tribal family, as the king’s red and white Bedouin tribal attire reminded Jordan’s mourning citizens.

The king also morally delegitimized the terrorists, saying they had zero claim to the name Muslim – powerful, given that the king is a direct descendant of Muhammad. He was buttressed by Jordanian officials, who called the terrorists “daesh” – a derogatory word in Arabic that’s as nasty as it sounds, and one that IS hates.

Then there was the swift execution of two death row terrorists that IS had sought in bad-faith negotiations for the pilot they had already murdered, done swiftly, just as Jordan had warned would happen.

There were also photos of the king suited up in his pilot’s uniform, giving an unmistakable impression of medieval single combat unlike anything seen since the Middle Ages (even if the king didn’t fly on the mission).

There was the king’s moving expression of compassion for the grieving family in their humble Jordan village, with the king and Queen Rania offering comfort and assuring them that their son’s death wasn’t in vain.

As bombing missions took off, with the warning to the terrorists that they were now “meeting the Jordanians for the first time,” half of Jordan’s air force flew over the humble village of the murdered pilot to assure it what the mission was about.

And, matching the terrorists’ propaganda-film tactics, the Jordanians also released a film – theirs, of IS targets being blown away by Jordanian forces, which at last count left 55 terrorists dead on the desert floor.

There’s a word for this: victory. As the West dithers under the weak leadership and wavering resolve of the Obama administration, the Jordanians, however small and threatened they are as a nation, have injected the force multiplier of moral passion into their war effort.

Maybe all the allies could learn from it.

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*VIDEOS* U.S. House Select Committee On Benghazi – 3rd Public Hearing (01/27/15)



……………………….Click on image above to watch video.

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Click HERE to visit the official Benghazi Select Committee website.

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FLASHBACK 1996: One Of The Best Opinion Articles Ever Written About A U.S. President

Silent Cal Speaks: Why Calvin Coolidge Is The Model For Conservative Leadership Today – Cal Thomas

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The Republican National Convention of 1924 nominated Calvin Coolidge as its candidate for a full four-year term as President. You’ll recall that Coolidge had assumed the presidency following the death of Warren Harding.

As one who has covered and commented on several political conventions, that 1924 convention in Cleveland did not yield many good stories.

It is generally remembered as the most uninteresting convention in Republican history. Delegates didn’t bother showing up at many of the sessions. The most popular drink was a keep-cool-with-Coolidge highball, composed of raw eggs and fruit juice. Will Rogers suggested that the city of Cleveland “open up the churches to liven things up a bit.”

But this is a reminder that politics, in the end, is not about drama but about principle, not about charisma but about character. I doubt Republicans will get a nominee out of San Diego with so many wise and principled things to say about the deficit, about tax cuts, and about welfare dependence as they had in 1924. And I very much doubt he will beat this opponent by a landslide of 54 percent to 28 percent.

A CERTAIN STYLE

I have always had a particular respect for the 30th President, not entirely explained by the ties of family.

Calvin Coolidge had a certain style and attitude toward public service. He seemed immune to the pretensions of politics. When asked his goals as Governor of Massachusetts, he explained, “to walk humbly and discharge my obligations.” It is hard to imagine a better definition of public service. When one woman admirer asked if the burdens of the presidency were more than a man could endure, Coolidge replied, “Oh, I don’t know. There are only so many hours in the day, and one can do the best he can in the time he’s got. When I was mayor of Northampton I was pretty busy most of the time, and I don’t seem to be much busier here.” There is something profoundly refreshing about a leader with that kind of perspective on life and politics. When Coolidge left the presidency he told reporters, “Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business.”

I have always admired Coolidge’s political courage. He came to national prominence, of course, by breaking the 1919 police strike. Some people don’t understand that this was controversial even in his own party. When he was about to sign the order calling out the National Guard, some colleagues warned him that it might destroy the Republican Party in Massachusetts and end his political career. Governor Coolidge took the pen and said quietly, “Perhaps you are right,” then signed the document. No grandstanding. Just quiet strength.

Coolidge also showed real humanity beneath his inflexible exterior. I’ve always been moved by the story of how Coolidge, in the summer of 1924, crawled on his hands and knees to catch a rabbit to show his dying son. He later said, “When he was suffering he begged me to help him. I could not.” In that tragedy, he provided a model of dignified grief.

And Coolidge, of course, was always a source of great stories. Everyone has his favorites. Once a man, riding with Coolidge through Vermont, commented, “See how closely they have shaved those sheep?” “At least on this side,” said the President.

At another point, a rude, combative man came up to Coolidge and said, “I didn’t vote for you.” The President immediately replied: “Someone did.”

In some ways, I think that Calvin Coolidge misled people into thinking he was less thoughtful and astute than he actually was. He never set out to impress – a quality of character almost unique in politics. He would have liked the praise of one country shopkeeper, “That young chap Coolidge certainly has more stuff on the shelves and outs less in the show-window than any fellow I’ve ever seen.”

You would think that a President with this kind of character and personality would be widely respected and fondly remembered. In fact, in his own time, he was one of the most popular men ever to occupy the White House.

But the attempts to malign Coolidge – the historical slander – began early. H. L. Menken called him “petty and dull.” Franklin Roosevelt never tired of attacking the “Coolidge Prosperity,” as though it were false and empty.

The history books quickly took up the cause. Historian Henry Steele Commanger wrote:

The idealism of the Wilson era was in the past; the Rooseveltian passion for humanitarian reform was in the future. The decade of the twenties was dull, bourgeois and ruthless. “The business of America is business,” said President Coolidge succinctly, and the observation was apt if not profound… never before, not even in the McKinley era, had American society been so materialistic.

Historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., wrote in The Crisis of the Old Order, “But, for Coolidge, business was more than business; it was a religion; and to it he committed all the passion of his arid nature… as he worshipped business, so he detested government. Economy was his self-confessed obsession.”

None of this venom can be explained by the real-world results of the Coolidge Administration. The federal budget shrank. The national debt was cut almost in half. Unemployment stood at 3.6 percent. Consumer prices rose at just 0.4 percent. During his term, there was a remarkable 17.5 percent increase in the nation’s wealth. Total education spending in the United States rose fourfold. In the 1920s, illiteracy fell nearly in half. This was a golden age, by any standard.

There must be some other reason that Coolidge is controversial. He has not been forgotten – like Chester Arthur or Millard Fillmore – he has been actively vilified by certain historians. In my view, this is not because he was “dull” or “arid,” but because his ideas were important – and even threatening to some. He is attacked precisely because he is a figure who speaks beyond his time.

Calvin Coolidge, known for his reticence, was actually the most articulate conservative who ever served as President. He was, as British historian Paul Johnson comments, “internally consistent and single-minded.” If his views are right, much of modern political thinking – from FDR to Bill Clinton – is profoundly wrong. This is why he continues to be relevant.

Coolidge was sometimes criticized for stating and restating the obvious. It was he who said, “When a great many people are unable to find work, unemployment results.” Actually Calvin Coolidge was in a constant search for foundational principles – the bedrock convictions that explain everything else. His points were not simply obvious, they were fundamental. Johnson concludes, “No public man carried into modern times more comprehensively the founding principles of Americanism: hard work, frugality, freedom of conscience, freedom from government, respect for serious culture.”

“They criticize me,” Coolidge said, “for harping on the obvious. Perhaps someday I’ll write On the Importance of the Obvious. If all the folks in the United States would do the few simple things they know they ought to do, most of our big problems would take care of themselves.”

PROVEN PRINCIPLES

Our nation is constantly in search of new ideas and new solutions. It is desperate for answers and obsessed with innovation. But Coolidge’s message was very different. He urged his fellow citizens to examine the basics of their beliefs. He called their attention to the proven principles of our political tradition. This is the reason his views, opinions, and advice seem so current. Those who set out to be “new” and “modern” are quickly outdated. Those who call attention to the permanent things are always fresh.

The 1990s would be wise to listen to this voice for the 1920s, speaking about principles that never age.

Coolidge talked honestly about the nature of wealth and of individual responsibility.

He told the Massachusetts Senate in 1914, “Government cannot relieve from toil. The normal must take care of themselves. Self-government means self-support… Ultimately property rights and personal rights are the same thing… History reveals no civilized people among whom there was not a highly educated class and large aggregations of wealth. Large profits mean large payrolls.”

The goal of public policy, in Coolidge’s view, was not to redistribute wealth, but to create it. “After all,” he said, “there is but a fixed quantity of wealth in this country at any fixed time. The only way that we can all secure more of it is to create more.”

Coolidge also saw that there is a tie between wealth, individual character, and social progress. “Wealth is the product of industry, ambition, character and untiring effort. In all experience, the accumulation of wealth means the multiplication of schools, the increase of knowledge, the dissemination of intelligence, the encouragement of science, the broadening of outlook, the expansion of liberty, the widening of culture.”

Coolidge spoke to a society struggling under the weight of federal debt.

“I favor the policy of economy,” he said, “not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the government. Every dollar we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical form.”

President Coolidge was opposed to the easy, false promise that we can pay for larger government by taxing “the rich” – the temptation of class warfare we still see today.

He argued,

The fallacy of the claim that the costs of government are borne by the rich cannot be too often exposed. No system has been devised, I do not think any system could be devised, under which any person living in this country could escape being affected by the cost of our government. It has a direct effect both upon the rate and the purchasing power of wages. It is felt in the price of those prime necessities of existence, food, clothing, fuel and shelter… the continuing costs of public administration can be met in only one way – by the work of the people. The higher they become, the more the people must work for the government. The less they are, the more the people can work for themselves.

In some ways, President Coolidge was a supply-sider before his time. He understood that high tax rates do not always mean higher tax revenues. Taxes can constrict economic activity, leaving less profit and income to tax. “The method of raising revenue,” he argued,

ought not to impede the transition of business; it ought to encourage it. I am opposed to extremely high rates, because they produce little or no revenue, because they are bad for the country, and, finally, because they are wrong. We cannot finance the country, we cannot improve social conditions, through any system of injustice, even if we attempt to influence it upon the rich… The wise and correct course to follow in taxation and in all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success but to create conditions under which every one will have a better chance to be successful.

That is sound, practical, principled advice for any time. In his own time, it was dramatically effective. The Revenue Act of 1926 – engineered along with Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon – was a stunning success. In 1922, the effective tax rate on the wealthy was 50 percent, who paid a total of $77 million into the Treasury. By 1927, Coolidge had cut their tax rate to 20 percent – but the same group paid $230 million in taxes. Meanwhile, the total tax burden on people making less than $10,000 fell from $130 million in 1923 to less than $20 million in 1929.

Calvin Coolidge talked with eloquence about human nature and limits on social engineering.

He believed it was impossible to change the world suddenly because it was impossible to suddenly change human behavior. In his inaugural address, he said, “We must realize that human nature is about the most constant thing in the universe and that the essentials of human relationship do not change. We must frequently take our bearings from these fixed stars of our political firmament if we expect to hold a true course.”

And Calvin Coolidge was also convinced that the ultimate strength of a government, an economy and a society depends on moral and religious values.

In no way was Coolidge a materialist. In the same speech in which he famously said, “The chief business of the American people is business,” Coolidge also argued, “The accumulation of wealth cannot be justified as the chief end of existence.” Elsewhere he noted, “Industry, thrift and self-control are not sought because they create wealth, but because they create character.”

No society, he believed, can be prosperous or successful in the absence of moral conviction. In essence, the common good requires that goodness be common. “Mere intelligence,” he said, “is not enough. Enlightenment must be accompanied by that moral power which is the product of home and religion. Real education and true welfare for the people rest inevitably on this foundation, which the government can approve and command, but which the people themselves must create.”

Coolidge was committed to religious freedom, stating that the “fundamental precept of liberty is toleration.” But he also noted, “The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.”

American society is just now learning how difficult that task is.

CONSISTENT WORLD VIEW

These ideas represent more than a practical political approach. They are a coherent, consistent view of the world, rooted in a philosophy about God, man, and government. This is something rare in an American President – something we see only in figures like Jefferson and Lincoln.

I think it can be argued that the two seminal, symbolic figures in America during the early twentieth century were Calvin Coolidge and Franklin Roosevelt. They represented visions larger than their own lives – fundamentally different directions for our national experiment.

Roosevelt spoke of the need for “bold, persistent experimentation.” He established a tradition of liberal tinkering with American society that reaches through history to our current administration. A health care plan that attempted to nationalize one-seventh of the U.S. economy is a clear descendant of this approach.

Calvin Coolidge is the polar opposite. His philosophy of government and of life is summarized in an extraordinary speech, given in 1926 at the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. It may be the finest, richest speech given by an American President in this century. “Under a system of popular government,” he said,

there will always be those who will seek for political preferment by clamoring for reform. While there is very little of this which is not sincere, there is a large portion that is not well-informed. In my opinion very little of just criticism can attach to the theories and principles of our institutions. There is far more danger of harm than there is hope of good in any radical changes.

What we need instead, Coolidge contended, is a “better knowledge of the foundations of government in general.” Once again, he was talking about foundations – always the basics.

Those foundations, in the history of our country, were not material, but spiritual. Our nation’s founders “were a people who came under the influence of a great spiritual development and acquired a great moral power.”

“No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence,” he said.

It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren scepter in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things which are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed.

For Coolidge this was not empty patriotism. It was a continual challenge, reissued in every generation:

Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man – these are not elements which we can see and touch. They are ideals. They have their source and their roots in religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We cannot continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause.

Coolidge concluded that our first, most important task as a nation is not to seek new ideas, but to return to old ideals:

It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance of the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning cannot be applied to [the Declaration of Independence]. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just power from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth and their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was not equality, not rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction cannot lay claim to progress. They are reactionary.

CONCLUSION

Our century has proven Coolidge to be exactly right. The greatest revolution of our time – defeating a totalitarian empire – was the ringing reaffirmation of ideas familiar in Philadelphia in 1776. It is socialism – which claimed history as its own – that now seems reactionary. It is American liberalism that seems old and tired.

In the 1940s, Arthur Schlesinger wrote, “There seems no inherent obstacle to the gradual advance of socialism in the United States through a series of New Deals.” But, with the perspective of history, they have advanced toward exhaustion – toward dependence and spiritual decay. We forgot about the nature of man and the limits of government. We neglected that the “things of the spirit come first.” Calvin Coolidge would have found these things obvious. If only they had been obvious to us.

Let me conclude with a statement by Coolidge that has never been more current and relevant.

We do not need more intellectual power, we need more moral power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character. We do not need more government, we need more culture. We do not need more law, we need more religion. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen. If the foundation be firm, the foundation will stand.

I would add only that we also need to be graced by leaders of Calvin Coolidge’s stature again.

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Obama CIA Director Admits Enhanced Interrogations Helped Lead U.S. To Bin Laden (Video)

Boom! CIA Director Brennan Admits Info From Enhanced Interrogations Led US To Osama Bin Laden – Gateway Pundit

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CIA Director Brennan just admitted that the Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EIT) provided information that was useful & was used in the ultimate operation to go against bin Laden.

“There was information obtained from the EIT that was useful in the Bin Laden operation.”

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On Monday CIA Director John Brennan rebutted two of the central premises of the Democratic Senate report on CIA’s enhanced interrogating techniques. Brennan said the controversial program produced evidence that helped avert potential strikes against the U.S. Today he admitted the information led to Bin Laden.

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Democrat Congressman: One Third Of Obama’s “Dreamer” Children Were Raped On Their Way To The U.S.

Rep. Cuellar: One-Third Of Unaccompanied Illegal Alien Children Were Raped – CNS

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In an interview on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said Thursday that one-third of the unaccompanied illegal minors – girls and boys – apprehended at the U.S. border had been raped during their journey.

“And half of those – I would say about one-third of those kids have been raped, have been brutalized on the way up here, so we have to take care of those kids and then respect the immigration laws, and the ones that have to be returned will be returned under the law,” said Cuellar.

“But again, I’m for supporting strong border security, but once those kids are here temporarily, we have to treat them with respect,” he added.

The one-third that Cuellar cited is comprised of both girls and boys who were sexually assaulted on the U.S., Cuellar said.

“And like I said, the kids that we talked to and the folks that take care of them, about one-third of those kids got raped on the way up here – little girls and little boys that got abused on the way up here,” he said.

So far, 5,143 unaccompanied illegal children have been apprehended along the Southwest border during the first two months of Fiscal Year 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014 to Nov. 30, 2014), according to the Customs and Border Patrol.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, 68,541 unaccompanied minors were apprehended during Fiscal Year 2014 (Oct. 1, 2013 to Sept. 30, 2014).

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Over 600 U.S. Troops Claimed Exposure To Chemical Weapons In Iraq, But Military Failed To Treat Them

More Than 600 U.S. Troops Described Being Exposed To Chemical Eeapons In Iraq But Military Failed To Offer Them Medical Care, Pentagon Admits – Daily Mail

More than 600 American soldiers told military medical staff that they believe they were exposed to chemical warfare agents in Iraq after the US-led invasion in 2003, but the Pentagon failed to act on that information, it was revealed Thursday.

According to reporting by The New York Times, Pentagon officials said the department will now expand its outreach to veterans and establish a toll-free hotline for reporting potential exposures and seeking medical evaluation or care.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered an internal review of military records after the Times published an article in October about how US troops encountered degraded chemical weapons from the 1980s that had been hidden or used in makeshift bombs.

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Truth comes out: Pentagon acknowledged that more than 600 American soldiers told military medical staff that they believe they were exposed to chemical warfare agents in Iraq after the US-led invasion in 2003

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US forces came upon hidden caches of warheads, shells and aviation bombs in Iraq between 2004 and 2011. Pictured here are Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians working in Afghanistan in 2002

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The initial newspaper report disclosed that 17 service members had been injured by sarin or sulfur mustard agent, and several more came forward after the story appeared, the Times said Thursday.

The Army’s Public Health Command collects standardized medical-history surveys, known as post-deployment health assessments, which troops fill out as they complete combat tours.

Those who responded ‘yes’ to a question about exposure to such warfare agents – ‘Do you think you were exposed to any chemical, biological and radiological warfare agents during this deployment?’ – were asked to provide a brief explanation.

The review ordered by Hagel showed that 629 people answered ‘yes’ to that question and also filled in a block with information indicating chemical agent exposure, Col. Jerome Buller, a spokesman for the Army surgeon general, told the newspaper.

‘Secretary Hagel ordered the department to examine the medical records for all servicemembers assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Units where exposures were reported to have occurred, as well as the Post-Deployment Health Assessment data for all servicemembers who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

‘The review has determined thus far that 734 troops reported potential exposure. The actual extent of that exposure is not yet clear,’ Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement to Stars and Stripes.

About 5,000 chemical weapons were recovered or destroyed in Iraq following the 2003 invasion.

A Times investigation last month revealed that US forces came upon hidden caches of warheads, shells and aviation bombs between 2004 and 2011.

But the Bush administration reportedly covered up the existence of the 30-year-old weapons, some of them designed by the US, which did not fit into the narrative that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction.

Most of the warheads were mustard agents in 155-millimeter artillery shells or 122-millimeter rockets developed by Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war which raged between 1980 and 1988.

Many of the shells recovered by American troops after the 2003 invasion would leak liquid during transportation, exposing the soldiers to the potentially-lethal fumes.

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Hidden: Between 2004 and 2011, soldiers found thousands of rusty chemical munitions throughout Iraq, most of them buried. Pictured on the left are troops handling weapons in Kandahar, Afghanistan

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A U.S. Army Third Infantry Division soldier loads materials discovered in an explosives laboratory hidden in a home April 15, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq

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Symptoms ranged from disorientation and nausea to blindness and large blisters.

A Navy explosive-ordnance disposal technician, who was not named because he remains on active duty, told the Times this week that he was burned on his left forearm in 2006 when a mustard agent spilled on him as he was carrying shells outside Samarra.

After he went to an Army doctor seeking treatment, an officer in his battalion ordered him to stop talking about the chemical shells.

Cmdr Ryan Perry, a Navy spokesman, told the newspaper that they do not condone the silencing of service members, adding the the sailor had reached out to the Navy about the 2006 chemical episode in recent days.

Each person who answered the health questionnaire would have received a medical consultation at the end of their combat tour, Buller said.

It was not clear why the military did not take further steps, such as including compiling the data as it accumulated over more than a decade, tracking veterans with related medical complaints, or circulating warnings about risks to soldiers and to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans who believe they were exposed can call a Pentagon hotline at 1-800-497-6261, which previously had been used for Gulf War veterans reporting illnesses.

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