FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Pentagon Plans to Use Bio-chemical Weapons in Iraq

by EDWARD HAMMOND

Top US military planners are preparing for the US to use incapacitating biochemical weapons in an invasion of Iraq. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed the plans in February 5th testimony before the US House Armed Services Committee. This is the first official US acknowledgement that it may use (bio)chemical weapons its crusade to rid other countries of such weapons. The Sunshine Project and other nonprofits have warned since late 2001 that the “War on Terrorism” may result the United States using prohibited biological and chemical armaments, thereby violating the same treaties it purports to defend. The US announcement creates grave concerns for the future of arms control agreements, particularly the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Rumsfeld stated that plans are being made for multiple applications, including use of gas or aerosols on unarmed Iraqi civilians, in caves, and on prisoners. Rumsfeld reiterated the confusing, typical US official language about so-called “non-lethal” biochemical weapons, which is at odds with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Rumsfeld described applications of a “riot agent” that clearly imply the complete incapacitation of victims, combatant and non-combatant, in armed conflict – a definition and usages that are at odds with the CWC. Rumsfeld acknowledged US ratification of the CWC but expressed “regret” about its restrictions, stating that the US has “tangled ourselves up so badly” on policy for use of incapacitating biochemical weapons. Rumsfeld indicated that – in his opinion – if President Bush signs a waiver of long-standing restrictions on US use of incapacitating chemicals, that the US will be able to legally field them in Iraq and elsewhere.

An audio file of the testimony from February 5th is posted with this news release at the Sunshine Project website.

The focal points for US development of these weapons are the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate in Quantico, Virginia, and the US Army Soldier Biological Chemical Command, located at Edgewood/Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Following their capture in Afghanistan and elsewhere, the US has used incapacitating chemicals on suspected terrorists “detainees”. In October 2002, Russian Special Forces used a so-called “non-lethal” incapacitating biochemical weapon when storming the Palace of Culture Theater in Moscow. It resulted in the deaths of over 100 hostages and was used to facilitate the extrajudicial execution of as many as 50 Chechen separatists. Before the War on Terrorism began, British officials stated that they would not cooperate with the US military in missions where US troops used incapacitating chemicals.

The Sunshine Project has established an online clearinghouse of dozens of documents from the US research program on these weapons, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. These are available at the Project’s website.

EDWARD HAMMOND is director of The Sunshine Project, based in Austin, Texas. He can be reached at: hammond@sunshine-project.org

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
Tommy Raskin
Syrian Quicksand
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Still Tries to Push Dangerous Drug Class
Jill Richardson
The Attorney General Thinks Aspirin Helps Severe Pain – He’s Wrong
Mike Miller
Herb March: a Legend Deserved
Ann Garrison
If the Democrats Were Decent
Renee Parsons
The Times, They are a-Changing
Howard Gregory
The Democrats Must Campaign to End Trickle-Down Economics
Sean Keller
Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East
Ron Jacobs
Re-Visiting Gonzo
Eileen Appelbaum
Rapid Job Growth, More Education Fail to Translate into Higher Wages for Health Care Workers
Ralph Nader
Shernoff, Bidart, and Echeverria—Wide-Ranging Lawyers for the People
Chris Zinda
The Meaning of Virginia Park
Robert Koehler
War and Poverty: A Compromise with Hell
Mike Bader – Mike Garrity
Senator Tester Must Stop Playing Politics With Public Lands
Kenneth Culton
No Time for Olympic Inspired Nationalism
Graham Peebles
Ethiopia: Final Days of the Regime
Irene Tung – Teófilo Reyes
Tips are for Servers Not CEOs
Randy Shields
Yahoomans in Paradise – This is L.A. to Me
Thomas Knapp
No Huawei! US Spy Chiefs Reverse Course on Phone Spying
Mel Gurtov
Was There Really a Breakthrough in US-North Korea Relations?
David Swanson
Witness Out of Palestine
Binoy Kampmark
George Brandis, the Rule of Law and Populism
Dean Baker
The Washington Post’s Long-Running Attack on Unions
Andrew Stewart
Providence Public School Teachers Fight Back at City Hall
Stephen Cooper
Majestic Meditations with Jesse Royal: the Interview
David Yearsley
Olympic Music
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail