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Feb-04-2014 22:20printcommentsVideo

Another Book on Camp Lejeune

We don’t wish the author any bad luck, but we were here first.

"Betrayal" was published in September 2013.
"A Trust Betrayed" has a scheduled release date of March 2014.

(SOMERDALE, NJ) - On April 23, 2013, the Marine Corps Times reviewed Mike Magner’s “A Trust Betrayed: The Untold Story of Camp Lejeune and the Poisoning of Generations of Marines and Their Families,” due out from the Merloyd Lawrence imprint of the Perseus Books Group in March 2014. (

Mike Magner, the author, was never a Marine.  He may be a talented journalist with friends but Tim King and I have  written BETRAYAL:  Toxic Exposure of U.S. Marines, Murder and Government Cover-up, a 400+ page book about El Toro and Lejeune from the perspective of two Marine veterans.  We have not received any offers to write a review of BETRAYAL. We don’t wish Mike Magner any bad luck, but we were here first. For us, this is not a vicarious experience; we both wore the uniform and ‘walked the walk.’

As soon as I learned of the book, I managed to post comments on the Marine Corps Times article last year.  My comments are one of 23 but are at the top of the list.  Maybe someone actually read them.  No one at the Marine Corps Times called to follow-up, even out of curiosity.

Mike Magner’s book is not yet published on Amazon. We sincerely hope that it passes any hurdles and gets into print. The world needs more books about the environmental contamination on US military installations. BETRAYAL is published on Amazon and is now into it’s 2nd edition. The eBook is up right now and Amazon will will have the 2nd edition soft cover up for purchase before March 2014. We can’t afford to publish a hard copy, but we think you’ll like our story and the book cover is an eye catcher.

Robert O'Dowd served at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) El Toro in the early 60's.
Tim King served at El Toro 20 years later. Both were with Marine Wing Support Group-37

We thought about sending a copy of BETRAYAL to the Marine Corps Times or at least offering to send a copy.  But, there’s nothing in the Times review to even suggest that they had a copy of Magner’s book to review.

We doubt that we could even pay the Times to write a review of BETRAYAL, even if they had a copy in front of them. It’s not because BETRAYAL is a ‘bad book.’  As the writers, we naturally think that BETRAYAL is a pretty good book.  But, the way the book publishing business works is that you have to pay for a book review.  We don’t know if Mike’s publisher paid for the Times article but they definitely have more connections than Salem-News.

Mike Magner, managing editor for the Capitol Hill publication National Journal, deserves credit for writing a 300 page book on Camp Lejeune.  I doubt that he got much help from the Navy or the Marine Corps.  Our guess is that he ran into a maze of obstacles to prevent him from telling the story of Camp Lejeune.  The contamination of Camp Lejeune's wells killed and injured an unknown number of people.  But, you can believe that the dead had to run into the hundreds or even the thousands.  Anyway you cut this story, it’s not good PR for the Marine Corps.  So, anyone writing about Lejeune can expect to be stonewalled.

Order from Amazon

Order from Amazon

Tim King and I covered a lot of territory in our 400+ page book.  We could have left Camp Lejeune out of BETRAYAL, but it was one of the 100+ news stories covered on SN for several years so we kept it in the book. The sources of BETRAYAL were personnel interviews of Marines veterans and dependents from both El Toro and Lejeune, FOIAs to the Navy and the Marine Corps, many technical reports and letters from EPA, Navy, ATSDR, and our own experience in the Marine Corps.

Neither of us were stationed at Lejeune; I went through ITR at Geiger, part of the Lejeune complex. But, that was it. The rest of my 52 months on active duty were with the 1st, 3rd and 4th Marine Aircraft Wings; Tim King served with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at El Toro like me but 20 years later in time.

We were both served in the most contaminated 200 acres at El Toro—the home of the Marine Wing Support Group 37 and the site used by CIA proprietary airlines to off-load their deadly cargo of cocaine for sale on the streets of America with the proceeds used to fund the Contra War and line the pockets of drug dealers and corrupt government officials.

We could have kept Colonel James E. Sabow’s murder out of the BETRAYAL but he was killed at El Toro before he could blow the whistle on gun running and narcotrafficking. We reported the story on so it’s in the book. The government can’t be too happy about the story of El Toro’s involvement in narcotrafficking and murder. But, it’s the truth and we can back it up.

Camp Lejeune survivors tend to ‘circle the wagon’ a few acting as if they were the only veterans and dependents sickened by toxic chemicals. For those sickened by the Corps negligence and left to their own means to pay for medical care and the mortgage, it’s reasonable that many should react this way. As a two time cancer survivor, O’Dowd understands how it feels.

However, the world is bigger than Lejeune and El Toro. We published a list of the 130 military installations that are EPA Superfund sites in BETRAYAL with links to the EPA Superfund sites in the eBook version and the ATSDR health effects of exposures to toxic chemicals on each installation. That’s more than the government has done or major Veteran Service Organization.

This is not rocket science. A simple website link can connect the dots for a veteran with cancer and even save the life of someone who is at risk of cancer. This could be accomplished with little expense. Makes you wonder what the big deal is. Can’t be money since veterans can’t sue the government for injuries from active duty and VA disability compensation claims can take years to settle. Oh, dependents can file a federal tort claim but no one at Lejeune has received one dime from the hundreds of tort claims filed; they are gathering dust in the Navy’s JAG (legal office) files.

Except for Lejeune, none of the people at the other 129 installations were notified that they may have been exposed to carcinogens and develop cancers. The number of veterans, dependents and civilian workers has to be in the millions.

If Lejeune had an estimated one million people exposed to the contaminated base wells, there has to be literally millions of others who were exposed to toxic chemicals and radiation and have no clue to what hit them. This has to be epitome of government negligence. Only God knows how many lives could have been spared by timely notification and prompt medical attention.

We are not the Perseus Books Group. We knew that no publisher in the US would be interested in the story of a covert gun running and cocaine trafficking operation, involving CIA proprietary aircraft and El Toro and other military bases.

Robert O'Dowd, Editor Bonnie King, and Tim King
in Baltimore, 2012

We published the book on Amazon with our own funds and nothing for marketing. Not exactly a formula for a best seller. But, we published it because it was the truth and someone had to tell the story.

In January 2014, a London TV station (the People’s Voice) asked if we were interested in an interview on the murder of Marine Colonel James E. Sabow. Dr. David Sabow, his younger brother and a forensic neurologist, and Bob O’Dowd did a 25 minute interview with Richie Allen in London. The UK station went out of their way to accommodate them.

Dr. Sabow is on Mountain Time while O’Dowd on Eastern Time. The People’s Voice was five hours ahead of O’Dowd and seven hours ahead of Dr. Sabow. Skype provided the communication link among all three men.

We told our story; Richie Allen asked penetrating, open-ended questions.

El Toxic Hell Toro Part Two: A Death Sentence for Marines and School Kids?

Funny thing is no US network was interested in this story. But, that didn’t come as any surprise. During the Iran/Contra hearings in 1987 and immediately after the swearing in of Lt. Colonel Oliver North, the NSC point man for Iran/Contra, a protester stood up and yelled, “Talk about the cocaine.” The youtube video cut the protester out of the video clip but not before other copies were made.

No questions were asked about cocaine shipments into the US at any of the Iran/Contra witnesses. Lawrence Walsh, the independent prosecutor, didn’t pursue the subject either, even though Cerelino Castillo III, an experienced DEA agent with knowledge of the flights of proprietary aircraft filled with cocaine on their way to the US, filed report after report with DEA superiors. Castillo even briefed an FBI agent on Walsh’s staff. It didn’t matter. Shhh, can’t talk about the cocaine. Gary Webb wrote about it, lost his job, his wife and committed suicide.

If you’re interested in reading BETRAYAL, you can download the eBook to your PC, Kindle, tablet, etc. for less than a pack of cigarettes.

We have heard stories of men in suits, flashing government badges, and intimidating people with the ‘national security mantra,’ if they told what they knew about murder and cocaine in the Marine Corps.

A former Marine MP who witnessed crime scene tampering at El Toro when an NIS special agent placed a patio chair on the body of Colonel Sabow told me that he couldn’t talk about it, “these people will kill you.”

Michael Jacobs, retired Orange County trial attorney, told this reporter to watch his back; be careful. The men who murdered Colonel Sabow were not church goers; they or others like them would have no problems with killing anyone.

Tim King and I are not stupid. We have not done anything to break the law. We are not intimated with threats from men in suits with government badges. But, then again we are both Marine veterans and there’s not too much anyone can do to frighten us. Our DIs were the real ‘bad asses.’



Bob O’Dowd is a former U.S. Marine with thirty years of experience on the east coast as an auditor, accountant, and financial manager with the Federal government. Half of that time was spent with the Defense Logistics Agency in Philadelphia. Originally from Pennsylvania, he enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 19, served in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Marine Aircraft Wings in 52 months of active duty in the 1960s. A graduate of Temple University, Bob has been married to Grace for 31 years. He is the father of two adult children and the grandfather of two boys. Bob has a blog site on former MCAS El Toro at This subject is where Bob intersected with Bob served in the exact same Marine Aviation Squadron that Salem-News founder Tim King served in, twenty years earlier. With their combined on-site knowledge and research ability, Bob and Tim and a handful of other ex-Marines, have put the contamination of MCAS El Toro on the map. The base is highly contaminated with TCE, trichloroethelyne

You can email Bob O’Dowd, Environmental and Military Reporter, at this address:


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