Tag Archives | Chemical Warfare

Correction: US Did Find Chemical Weapons in Iraq – The Ones They Sent There

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, in Baghdad on December 20, 1983. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, in Baghdad on December 20, 1983. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

These aren’t the chemical weapons you’re looking for.

New reporting from the New York Times, published online late Tuesday, reveals that although the administration of George W. Bush employed false claims of a chemical weapons program to justify its 2003 invasion of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq (no such program existed) – the reality is that substantial, largely forgotten and degraded stockpiles of older weapons did exist inside the country.

However, according to the Times, because those weapons dated back to the 1980’s—when the U.S. and other western nations were acting as an ally to Iraq and supplying weapons and chemical agents to Hussein during his war against Iran—U.S. troops who ultimately came across these weapons and ordered to destroy them were told to remain quiet about what they’d encountered, even as it put their own health and those of others in grave danger.

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We Must Wake Up to the Threats of New Chemical Weapons

via New Scientist F028-003

Chemical warfare is centuries old, but rapid advances in science could create deadly new weapons. We must act now

SYRIA, AD 256: Persian forces are under siege by the Romans. The attacking forces seek to tunnel under the Persian fortifications, but are met by a toxic mix of fumes from burning sulphur and bitumen. Syria, 2013: as yet unsubstantiated claims and counterclaims abound that chemical weapons have been deployed in the country.

The abhorrent effects of chemical warfare were unequivocally demonstrated during the first world war. This year, we mark the 25th anniversary of the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Halabja in northern Iraq under Saddam Hussein’s leadership.

Most governments now regard such weapons as militarily redundant, as demonstrated by their membership of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which prohibits the production and use of chemical weapons, commits them to destroying all existing stocks, and prevents reacquisition.

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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 Mickey Mouse Gas Mask

proxy2And you thought your childhood was psychologically damaging. The Mickey Mouse gas mask was designed to usher children into the age of biological warfare by turning chemical weapons attacks into a “game.”

An initial run of 1,000 masks was produced, but they were never used, and after the war were distributed to senior officers as keepsakes. Via Gasmasklexicon:

The Mikey Mouse gas mask for children was created in January 1942 by the Sun Rubber Company and designer Dietrich Rempel, with Walt Disney’s approval. This design was presented to Major General William N. Porter, Chief of the Chemical Warfare Service. The mask was designed so children would carry it and wear it as part of a game…

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The Pentagon’s LSD Bombs

I never knew there was such a thing as “psychedelic warfare”. From a vintage Popular Science article, via Parapolitical:

Secret U.S. tests show[ed] startling military uses for weird new chemical agents. The so-called “loony gas,” which we believed could incapacitate enemies without actually harming them, turned out to be LSD. Although we acknowledged that LSD could make people “daffy,” we also stated that these psycho-chemicals were more or less humane. That is, the military could saturate enemies with LSD and take over their towns, without destroying them, before the people recovered.

LSDbomb

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