Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


This is coolbert:

After reading that interview with Dr. Ken Alibek, it would only be reasonable for the thoughtful person to ask oneself, "well, how active was the U.S. in the area of biological warfare [BW] during the period of say, the Cold War??"

The answer is VERY active.

Did a lot of research, developed a whole host of agents that could be used in time of conflict, and did stockpile agents for offensive purposes.

Access to the records of the Japanese Unit 731 had to be a big help to U.S., scientists.

Jump started programs in a big way. Or at least I would have thought so.

Of course, all the records would have had to be translated from Japanese to begin with.

I would also think that detailed interrogations of the various Japanese scientists would also have been required.

Collaboration at some point also?

I just don't know?

But it wouldn't surprise me.

Over the many decades a lot of surprising and interesting information has come out concerning the U.S. germ warfare program.

The two top men that were long time directors of U.S. germ warfare research have been interviewed. And made some interesting revelations.

One such man was William Patrick. Had some very pointed and acerbic views on the whole subject of biological warfare [BW]. Read the entire and very interesting interview for yourself.

[Dr. Riley Housewright was the other director of the U.S. program. See his quotes below on Cuba.]

Other experts have also been interviewed regarding BW weaponry.

Experimentation on the U.S. populace, of a non-lethal nature, was done with BW agents from time to time during the Cold War era.

The most famous of these "experiments" occurred in the early 1950's. The CIA, using field expedient means, was able to "douse" the entire city of San Francisco with a non-lethal BW agent in thirty minutes!!

[harmless to well, healthy people. To sick folks in the hospital, it DID constitute a danger. Forty two folks in hospitals throughout SF got sick, and one of them, Mr. Nevin, dying!!]

Edward Nevin. Died inadvertently as a result of U.S. germ warfare experimentation.

"the Army had staged a mock biological attack on San Francisco, secretly spraying the city with Serratia and other agents thought to be harmless."

"The goal: to see what might happen in a real germ-warfare attack. The experiment, which involved blasting a bacterial fog over the entire 49-square-mile city from a Navy vessel offshore"

"San Francisco had received enough of a dose for nearly all of the city's 800,000 residents to inhale at least 5,000 of the particles."

[I had originally thought this was a CIA experiment. A rented fishing vessel, a commercially available rented aerosol disperser, and a strong wind blowing from the ocean toward SF was all that was requsdired. Well, a strong wind blowing from the ocean toward SF is present all the time. But my impression was that was a nickle and dime operation that frightened a lot of folks as to how easy it was!!]

Another series of experiments on human subjects, with the informed consent of the subjects themselves [???!!!] was Project Whitecoat.

"Human Guinea Pigs Supplied by Adventist Church"

"Project Whitecoat was unique in the armed forces in that it exclusively used as test subjects soldiers who were Seventh-day Adventists. These young Adventist men had been drafted into the army and registered as "conscientious objectors," those who refused to perform combat roles on religious grounds. These objectors were given a 1-A-O classification and sent to the U.S. Army Medical Training Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. There they trained to be Army medics. It was from this non-combatant medical corps that the Army selected its test subjects for Project Whitecoat."

"Army officials claim that Whitecoat volunteers contributed to the development of vaccines for yellow fever, hepatitis A, anthrax and plague, as well as still-experimental vaccines for tularemia, Q fever, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis."

"because of high principles and temperate living, Adventist men are more nearly uniform in physical fitness and mental outlook. We find [Adventist] soldiers to be cooperative and willing to serve."

There it is in a nutshell.

A uniform group of persons with high levels of physical fitness, mental outlook, high principles, temperate living. Excellent, perhaps the most superb human volunteers [guinea pigs] you could possibly find. The 7th Day Adventist Church eschews all tobacco, alcohol, meat, etc. Eats as close as possible to the vegetarian diet. Stresses physical fitness and clean living. Live about eight years longer than the rest of the population. The Adventist church runs a series of very successful hospitals the nation over, and is noted for natural cures.

A uniform population of volunteers, all more or less healthful and cheerful eliminates a lot of variables for the statistician. Meaningful data can be had that is more useful than just choosing random subjects.

As to the whether or not the U.S. did employ BW weapons during the Cold War or thereafter, THERE HAS BEEN some speculation that the U.S., during the Cold War at least, DID USE germ warfare.

One instance where this was charged was during the Korean Conflict.

"The Chinese Government accused the United States of using biological warfare in the Korean peninsula. Of course, these charges were false. The Chinese communists had used mosquitoes and roaches rolling around on frozen ground as evidence for a BW attack. And if you know anything about aerosols and BW, you realize that this was just pure tripe. Just pure tripe. But a lot of people in our country accepted the fact that we had used BW in the Korean peninsula."

"A lot of people in our country accepted the fact that we had used BW in the Korean peninsula."

["The Chinese communists had used mosquitoes and roaches rolling around on frozen ground" - - the actual film I saw showed two oriental "doctors" in lab coats wearing surgical masks pointing to some snow on the ground with insects atop the snow. The insects were supposed to be the vectors [delivery agent] for the "germs". Well, any reasonable thinking person would instantly understand that INSECTS cannot survive in the cold. Snow on the ground?? The weather must be cold. INSECTS die almost instantly in the cold. NOT feasible to deliver BW agents with insects in the cold. As simple as that???!!!]

The second instance where the use of BW agents was seriously contemplated, but not actually done, was during the Cuban Missile Crisis [1963].

It was foreseen and planned for, that if an actual invasion of Cuba was required in 1963, the entire island of Cuba would first, several days before troop landings, be subjected to BW attack.

NON-LETHAL, but incapacitating agents were to be sprayed over the island. Agents that would sicken but not kill a very large proportion of Cuban civilians, Cuban troops, and any Soviets manning those missiles aimed at the U.S. Resistance to a U.S. invasion from the Cuban military and the general populace would be greatly diminished.

"In interviews for the book and a subsequent "Frontline" television documentary, Dr. Housewright described the biological warfare operation at Fort Detrick and the high priority given it by the Kennedy administration as the Cuban missile crisis loomed."

"The planning was directed by Pentagon officials who encouraged the germ scientists to refine how, exactly, such an attack would work," Miller and the others write. " 'I'd get maps half the size of my desk' that indicated the position of Russian troops and weapons in Cuba," Dr. Housewright is quoted as saying."

"Under his direction, scientists "prepared agents that could incapacitate or kill large numbers of Cubans," the authors say. The lethal alternative of spraying enemy troops with botulinum toxin was also considered, they note. But again, the weapons were not utilized."

"The early 1960s saw development of a contingency plan, made public here for the first time, for a nonlethal attack on Cuba. The Marshall Plan, as it was known, called for dousing the island from jet aircraft with a cocktail of staphylococcal enterotoxin B and the organisms that cause Venezuelan equine encephalitis and Q fever. It was estimated that 1 in 100 Cubans would die of the dose, some 70,000 people - - "mostly old folks like me," Patrick predicted. The plan was never enacted."

[again, this would have been the use of non-lethal BW agents. Non-lethal to normal, healthy people. The sick, the infirm, the aged folks WOULD have suffered adversely and many would have died!!]

[Hey, the Kennedy boys would have heard only NON-LETHAL!! Very cold blooded!!]

Since 1972, the U.S. HAS been a signatory to the BW Convention. Outlawing the use of BW weapons.

All stockpiles were to be destroyed. To the best knowledge available, all U.S. stockpiles WERE destroyed.

[this may not be so significant as it seems. More on this later.]

This Convention, however, does not disallow research into "defensive" measures against BW warfare.

Under the BWC, nations are permitted to develop small amounts of BW agents for the purpose of defensive research.

"In 1986, the U.S. government spent US$42 million on research for developing defenses against infectious diseases and toxins, ten times more money than was spent in 1981. The money went to 24 U.S. universities in hopes of developing strains of anthrax, Rift Valley fever, Japanese encephalitis, tularemia, shigella, botulin, and Q fever."

"The 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention extended the ban to almost all production, storage and transport."

"production, storage and transport"

[an offensive capability]

"The treaty, another administration official said, allows the United States to conduct research on both microbes and germ munitions for 'protective or defensive purposes.'"

Protective or defensive purposes. Well, if you have the incubators ready, and they probably are, how long is it going to take to have batches of BW agent ready for dispersal as OFFENSIVE weaponry?? Probably not long. Ken Alibek said ten days.

Is the U.S. probably at the state of the art in BW agent development?

Impossible to say.

Is developing vaccines for known agents with small amounts of cultures of say Q Fever also paving the way to use those same cultures for offensive capability if the need arise? This maybe so!!



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