Tag Archives | Biological Weapons

Inside The Army’s Cold War Experiments In Psychochemical Warfare

The New Yorker unravels the military’s secret program to develop the ultimate “humane” weapon for the wars of the future — mass-delirium-inducing gas:

Colonel James S. Ketchum dreamed of war without killing. He joined the Army in 1956 and left it in 1976, and in that time became the military’s leading expert in a secret Cold War experiment: to fight enemies with clouds of psychochemicals that temporarily incapacitate the mind-—causing, in the words of one ranking officer, a “selective malfunctioning of the human machine.”

Today, the facility, Edgewood Arsenal, is a crumbling assemblage of buildings on the Chesapeake Bay. But for some of the surviving test subjects, and for the doctors who tested them, what happened at Edgewood remains deeply unresolved.

I spoke to a former Edgewood test subject who was given the nerve agent VX. The effect was rapid. There was a radio on in the room, but the words made little sense.

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The United States Is Collecting World Leaders’ DNA

In the future, synthetic viruses will be unleashed which spread quickly, producing no symptoms — until they reach a targeted person whose DNA sequence unlocks the virus’s lethal abilities. The Atlantic reveals that preparations are already underway for this coming era of biological assassination:

The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama. Decoded, these genetic blueprints could provide compromising information. In the not-too-distant future, they may provide something more as well—the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down a president and leave no trace.

DNA of world leaders is already a subject of intrigue. In the President’s Secret Service, Navy stewards gather bedsheets, drinking glasses, and other objects the president has touched—they are later sanitized or destroyed—in an effort to keep would‑be malefactors from obtaining his genetic material. Personalized bioweapons are a subtler and less catastrophic threat than accidental plagues or WMDs.

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Footage Released Showing British Military’s 1952 Biological Warfare Experiments On Monkeys

The horrific testing, conducted in secret and dubbed Operation Cauldron, took place offshore on a ship near the Isle of Lewis. Over the course of several months, dozens of terrified monkeys and thousands of guinea pigs were subjected to "germ bombs" containing bubonic plague and other deadly diseases, with many of the animals dying after a few days. The project was part of the U.K. military's effort to develop biological weapons that could be used on real people in a potental war against the Soviets. Needless to say, the Ministry of Defence was reluctant to release the incredibly disturbing 47-minute film documenting the experiments:
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Dutch Researcher Creates A Super-Influenza Virus With The Potential To Kill Half the World’s Population

H5N1 VirusesVia DoctorTipster.com:
A Dutch researcher has created a virus with the potential to kill half of the planet’s population. Now, researchers and experts in bioterrorism debate whether it is a good idea to publish the virus creation ”recipe”. However, several voices argue that such research should have not happened in the first place. The virus is a strain of avian influenza H5N1 genetically modified to be extremely contagious. It was created by researcher Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, Netherlands. The work was first presented at a conference dedicated to influenza, that took place in September in Malta. Avian influenza emerged in Asia about 10 years ago. Since then there were fewer than 600 infection cases reported in humans. On the other hand, Fouchier’s genetically modified strain is extremely contagious and dangerous, killing about 50% of infected patients. The former strain did not represent a global threat, as transmission from human to human is rare. Or, at least, it was before Fouchier genetically modified it.
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Iraqi Defector Comes Clean About His WMD Lies

Meet Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, CIA codename Curveball. He lied about Saddam Hussein's having biological weapons, giving the Bush administration the ammunition they needed in their push for an invasion of Iraq. Al-Janabi says he would do it all over again if he could -- the lesson being, don't trust anyone named Curveball.
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Utah Biological Weapons Center Locked Down

Looking north toward Dugway Proving Ground Testing Range. Photo: David Jolley (CC)

Looking north toward Dugway Proving Ground Testing Range. Photo: David Jolley (CC)

It’s a day for scary sci-fi stories apparently. Following on from the genetically modified mosquitoes, the U.S. Army has admitted to placing its Utah high security biological weapons facility under lockdown orders — meaning that something bad has happened within. Let’s hope it stays within, but don’t be surprised if some scary new ailment like Lyme Disease results. Report from CNN:

A Utah military facility that tests chemical and biological weapons was locked down “to resolve a serious concern,” and authorities were working to reopen the base, officials said Thursday.

All base personnel were safe and working, and no evacuation was needed, said spokeswoman, Bonnie Robinson. She would not say why the base was locked down.

The U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground has been locked down since 7:25 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, said another spokeswoman, Paula Thomas.

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Indian Military to Weaponize World’s Hottest Chili

roasted-pepper-736227WASBIR HUSSAIN writes on the Associated Press:
GAUHATI, India — The Indian military has a new weapon against terrorism: the world's hottest chili. After conducting tests, the military has decided to use the thumb-sized "bhut jolokia," or "ghost chili," to make tear gas-like hand grenades to immobilize suspects, defense officials said Tuesday. The bhut jolokia was accepted by Guinness World Records in 2007 as the world's spiciest chili. It is grown and eaten in India's northeast for its taste, as a cure for stomach troubles and a way to fight the crippling summer heat. It has more than 1,000,000 Scoville units, the scientific measurement of a chili's spiciness. Classic Tabasco sauce ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville units, while jalapeno peppers measure anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000.
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The Mystery Of Cursed French Bread (A Secret CIA Experiment?)

Cursed French Bread?Ted Goodman on PhyOrg recounts the strange events of August 16, 1951, when dozens of villagers in the French village of Pont-Saint-Esprit were struck with unexplainable and horrifying hallucinations of fire and snakes and beasts of all kinds, from, what was described as by villagers, eating le pain maudit ("cursed bread"). Recently on Russia Today, Hank Albarelli, author of A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments, suggests this incident was part of a CIA-funded experiment on foreign soil with LSD. According to Albarelli, five hundred people were affected by the "experiment" — resulting in forty people being taken to a nearby psychiatric institute and at least three suicides. Albarelli specifically discusses this incident at around 5:10 into this video, and relates it to the work of Frank Olson, the subject of his book.
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Why The Post-9/11 Anthrax Attacks Are Still Unsolved

Microphotograph of a Gram stain the bacterium Bacillus anthracis which causes anthrax

Microphotograph of a Gram stain the bacterium Bacillus anthracis which causes anthrax

Edward Jay Epstein reviews some questions that remain worryingly unsolved concerning the anthrax attacks that followed 9/11, for the Wall Street Journal:

The investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks ended as far as the public knew on July 29, 2008, with the death of Bruce Ivins, a senior biodefense researcher at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Md. The cause of death was an overdose of the painkiller Tylenol. No autopsy was performed, and there was no suicide note.

Less than a week after his apparent suicide, the FBI declared Ivins to have been the sole perpetrator of the 2001 Anthrax attacks, and the person who mailed deadly anthrax spores to NBC, the New York Post, and Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. These attacks killed five people, closed down a Senate office building, caused a national panic, and nearly paralyzed the postal system.

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